Thursday, July 23, 2015

FGM awareness raising and Shea body butter production!

Week 4 proved to be another bustling week of activity at Kabeela! Despite a few setbacks due to heavy rain, we managed to continue with our work.

With the themes of diversity and collaboration in mind, this week the team discussed the importance of understanding one another in the world of development. It really is indispensible that we learn about diversity; it helps people work together in cross-cultural contexts and aids understanding, enabling tolerance and acceptance of differing ideas.

As our team is made up of a diverse range of people, it is not unusual to find conflicting ideas within the team. We discussed ways in which discrimination in our world could be lessened, and how people could become more tolerant. Similarly, the topic of Female Genital Mutilation has been at the forefront of our agenda this week. How can we ensure that this practice be eliminated for good?
With all this in mind, this week’s main events involved an awareness-raising film screening of Female Genital Mutilation in the village centre, in collaboration with Action Sociale, as well as the women’s income generating activity of making Shea body butter.

On Thursday evening we set up a projector near the market at the centre of Guilongu. We attracted a large audience, and by 19h we were ready to show the film promoting the awareness of Female Genital Mutilation. Although this practice has been illegal in Burkina Faso for over 10 years, over 50% of the girls here are still subject to mutilation. This illegal and clandestine movement is not only dangerous, but it is child abuse and therefore we wanted to talk to the people about FGM to get their opinions and change ideas. After the screening there was a fantastic response from the community. Many people, both men and women stepped forward to express their concerns about FGM and their gratitude to Kabeela and Action Sociale for raising awareness in their village. Some people told their personal stories – one woman stepped forward to say she watched her 10 year old daughter die after she had undergone FGM and experienced blood loss. It was very moving to hear people’s views and see the motivation of so many people to stop this malpractice for good.

Our income generating activity of making Shea body butter was a big success. The women made around 80 pots of body butter. They tried out coconut, apple and lemon essences in their Shea production, so we hope that this new product range will attract a wider consumer audience. 

Next week, our football tournament kicks off, with the hope to raise funds for Kabeela, at the same time as doing awareness raising sessions on the importance of hygiene, the protection of the environment, and the condemnation of female genital mutilation practices.

Bilfu! (see you soon!)

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