1st South Woodham Ferrers GB group raised £1,000 for 28 Too Many, a British charity working to end female genital mutilation (FGM).
The group raised the money by participating in the Colourthon 5k in Southend and having lots of fun doing so.
Female genital mutilation (sometimes called female genital cutting) is a traditional cultural practice involving the cutting or removal of the external genitals. It's existed for more than 2,000 years, and is performed on girls of only a few days old, up to just before marriage. It's traditionally practised by non-medically trained women, often in unsterile conditions and without anaesthetic.
GB leader Maralyn North was inspired to get her group involved after hearing Anne-Marie Wilson, founder of 28 Too Many, speak at a local event. Maralyn explains ‘It's not an African problem. English girls of Asian and African parentage are being sent home during the summer holidays to be operated on. The long term effects are mind blowing. Lots of girls die in childbirth, they all have frequent bladder and kidney infections and sometimes become incontinent. It's carried out in the most barbaric of circumstances and still three million girls are cut each year which is staggering.’
After hearing more about FGM, Maralyn and her leadership team encouraged the girls to learn more about it in GB. Lucy, 13, shares the impact this had... she says ‘Learning about FGM made me very aware how fortunate I am to live in a civilised society where I have a voice and I can choose how to live my life.’
Megan, 15, says ‘I hadn't heard about FGM before we had the matter raised at GB. Because of GB, I now feel that I could speak up against this practice and for the girls impacted by it.’
Claire Rush, GB’s Advocacy Co-ordinator, notes ‘As a movement, GB cares about how girls around the world are treated. We aim to bring hope into girls’ lives, and freedom brings hope! We’re thankful for the example of the girls and leaders of 1st South Woodham Ferrers group and hope that it inspires others to turn up the volume of hope for girls.’
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