What we do
One of the strands of our work is to raise awareness of female genital cutting, dispel the myths and share the news of how female genital cutting (FGC) is abandoned. Communicating the positive stories of abandonment is vital to sharing the message that FGC can and is being ended. We want to shine the light on the excellent work being done at the community level.
Who we communicate with and why
We are communicating the realities of FGC as well as the hope and possibility about the movement to end female genital cutting. We do this to various audiences: those in the development sector working on women’s or heath issues, to politicians and influential decision makers, as well as to the wider public.
Our website, blogs, tweets and letters communicate female genital cutting related news and successes, both of our partners and others. We gather and share stories from activists and organisations around the world in our regular round-ups.
We are committed to communicating accurate and non-sensational information about female genital cutting –where it happens, why it happens, how much and how it happens, as well as the good news about where it is ending.
We report on some of the resistance to ending FGC, including how and where it is perpetuated and entrenched in cultural behaviour in communities and in law. Sharing accurate information about FGC is fundamentally important to our ethos.
Communications projects: Sister Fa
As well as supporting her Education sans Excision tours, we also work alongside Senegalese hip-hop and urban soul artist, and anti-FGC ambassador Sister Fa who uses her music to raise awareness about female genital cutting. In 2011 Sister Fa won the prestigious ‘Freedom to Create’ prize (an award that showcases the creativity of artists who use their talents to promote social justice).
As part of our communications work, we support Sister Fa to spread her message in the UK and Europe. We have helped Sister Fa to organise gatherings of artists in Dakar and Guinea, and worked with Sister Fa on International Day against FGC (6 February) for the past three years. She has spoken at the Houses of Parliament about the progress made to end FGC and made many media appearances, including on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.
Activities and awareness-raising
You can follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. From these platforms you can find out about activities and events that we are organising, and about different ways that you can support us. Our aim is to have current news and updates about FGC in one place.
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At Orchid Project we try to be creative in the ways that we reach out to new, diverse audiences. Our events are as much about raising awareness as they are about raising funds. In the past, we have put on film nights and held discussions and dinners.
We have supported several film and music nights across London and to mark International day against FGC in the past, we have hosted events at the House of Commons and House of Lords. In 2014, we held an event in Copenhagen, attended by the US Ambassador. Keep an eye on our blog and news pages for upcoming events.
Girls Girls Girls is a regular fixture in our calendar, an evening showcasing some spectacular female performers and is managed by two very talented musicians and Orchid supporters, Sam Lindo and Eliza Shaddad. All female line-ups have been performing at venues across London from St Pancras Old Church to Dalston Old Boys’ Club.
We are have been represented by wonderful supporters in fundraising events such as The London Marathon, the Women’s 5k Challenge in Hyde Park, the Bath Half Marathon, and the Paris Marathon. We have also had fantastic support from Wynne who climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of Orchid Project.
If you would like to raise awareness, you can put on a cake sale, cycle up the East Coast of the USA, or even run a marathon. If you’re interested in fundraising for Orchid, please get in touch ([email protected]) and talk to us about what you’d like to do.
It’s also really easy to set up a fundraising page. For information, ideas and support, contact us.