Savera UK Youth help raise awareness on FGM
After the success of the Savera UK Youth Conference in November during UK Parliament Week which saw the Savera UK Youth group leading on issues around harmful practices, particularly forced marriage. The young people launched a hard-hitting film and chaired a panel of guests including Maya Jama, Nazir Afzal and representatives from the National FGM Centre to name a few. Savera UK were excited to work with the young people again and developed a short project with the National FGM Centre for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6th February. 6th February is a day of international observation for female genital mutilation (FGM) sponsored by the United Nations. As FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women, the 6th February is a day that helps us all raise awareness about this hidden crime. The National FGM Centre hosted a seminar with leading experts to explore the medical aspects of FGM, the medical challenges of identifying FGM and implications for the law. Savera UK is one of many FGM organisations across the UK that support those at risk.
The young people developed their exhibition over three sessions in January. After speaking with a survivor of female genital mutilation and learning more about the practice from Savera UK, the young people worked with photographer Andrew AB to learn valuable photography skills. They then took disposable cameras away to interpret their understanding of FGM through photography.
The young people created some outstanding photographs using things that they came across in their everyday lives to represent their feelings around the topic of FGM. They worked with AB to curate their exhibition as well as give names to the collection.
I’m blessed to have taken part and can’t wait for projects in the future.Ayomide Folarin
Further to this exhibition, the young people also worked with artist Joanne Tremarco and poet Kiara Mohamed to add other dimensions to the display. With Joanne, they created collage pieces to express their feelings around FGM and also created stop motion pieces to illustrate further.
It is the idea that our bodies should be treated with respect and to nourished. The flower represents the vagina from seed to full bloom, suggesting that it is fragile and requires protection, to not be tampered with or mutilated.Malcolm Thwala & Juliane Mohamed Noor
They then worked with Kiara to create some fantastic poetry around the subject of female genital mutilation which they read at the seminar in London when the whole group attended on 6th February. From working with Kiara, they produced letters of positivity that they handed out to those who attended the conference. They wax sealed them in their sessions and wanted to spread positive messages. They were also on the panel at the seminar and took questions from the audience on what they had learned and working with Savera UK. The feedback was extremely positive from the exhibition and their artwork touched all about this taboo topic.
Savera UK know that education is power and that by teaching young people about these issues we can help break the silence. The Savera UK Youth project will empower young people and inspire them to lead and advocate for the work that Savera UK does and also allowing them to develop and gain valuable skills along the way.
We will be launching this project in the North West of England, more details to follow.