FIGHTING FGM THROUGH SCHOOL CLUBS: SUMEYA’S STORY
IGHTING FGM THROUGH SCHOOL CLUBS: SUMEYA’S ST
12-year-old Sumeya Hassen is a fifth grade student at Harmukale full cycle primary and Junior high
school in Somali Region. Sumeya is one of the active members of the student club that Save the Children through its NORAD funded ‘Cementing Changes towards Zero Tolerance to FGM’ has established and supported.
Sumeya’s story in her own words
My name is Sumeya, I am 12 years old. I am a grade five student here in Harmukale full cycle primary and junior high school. I have three sisters and five brothers. I live with my parents, my brothers and sisters.
Science is my favorite subject in school.When I grow up, I want to be a good teacher; because I want the children in my village to get good education. I joined the School Girls’ Club Last year. I and three other students from my school were chosen to get a training on how to establish and manage the club.We learned and established our club and mange it well now. Because I am a club member, I got a chance to learn about harmful traditional practices. As club members, we share our knowledge with fellow students through drama, songs and poems.
Early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful traditional practices were very common in our community. Now, because of so many awareness-raising events, they have been reduced. .
Save the Children has been providing us with stationary and other educational and promotional material such as a tape recorder.This helps us to prepare different educational messages that we share with students and the community.. I wish they would continue to support our club so that we can do more. The feedback we got from the students and teachers is very encouraging and this will motivate us to do more in the future. Save the Children has also provided us with school uniform and other learning materials.This support was helpful because this means we regularly attend school.
Save the Children, with funding support from NORAD, implements its project focused on ‘Cementing Changes towards Zero Tolerance to FGM’ in Somali and Harari regions of Ethiopia.The project aims to contribute to the national commitment to end all forms of FGM and socio cultural factors that negatively affect adolescent girls by 2025 through building a sustained community engagement.
Save the Children established and supported 16 child led school clubs in the two regions.The project also provided a life skill training to more than 50 club members that enabled the clubs to prepare and disseminate educational messages to their fellow students and parents to raise awareness on the most common and prevalent harmful traditional practices practiced on girls and women. On the other hand, the provision of uniform and other learning materials has significantly contributed to the reduction of school dropouts and improved children’s educational performance.