On June 16, 2012, CAGeM hosted the first National Female Genital Mutilation Survivors conference “THEIR VOICE” which was held at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. At the conference, US survivors spoke out for the first time. At the press conference following the event, Mae Azango, the Liberian reporter persecuted for exposing FGM in Liberia, encouraged survivors to speak out despite resistance. On September 15, 2012 they will unite again at the Restoring the Rose walkathon to raise awareness in the US and raise funds to ship medical supplies to the first free hospital for survivors of female genital mutilation where they will be able to receive clitoral reconstructive surgery.
The procedure, developed by French surgeon Pierre Foldes, has been clinically proven to allow women who have undergone female genital mutilation with clitoridectomy, to achieve clitoral orgasms and reduce pain. “I never thought I could ever get my clitoris back”, said Osasu Ovuraye, one of the patients awaiting clitoral reconstructive surgery. “Even when I found out it was possible, I knew I could never afford it so I’m very grateful to CAGeM for this opportunity”. There are currently over 500 women in Africa on the waiting list for the surgery. The hospital will officially open in December, 2012 pending delivery of necessary medical equipment and supplies.
CAGeM will also be showcasing the handmade jewelry and other handcrafts by victims of domestic violence and female genital mutilation in Egypt. The women are in the economic empowerment program of CAGeM in Egypt. Training women on financial sustainability is an important tool in empowering them to stand up against female genital mutilation in Egypt where there prevalence is 97% and there has been a recent push to legalize FGM in the country. Recently a mobile convoy paraded several communities in Egypt, genitally mutilating women.
Information and registration for the free walkathon is available here: http://www.active.com/10k-race/new-york-ny/restoring-the-rose-walk-a-thon-2012
Their Voice: A Conference on Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation
Hear the voice of the voiceless women and girls subjected to female genital mutilation in the United States and the heroes fighting FGM in Africa and around the world as we discuss the current status of FGM and unite in our eradication and victim assistance efforts.
This is a FREE conference that will be televised in several parts of Africa.
Date: June 16, 2012Location: New York Academy of Medicine Conference Center 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029Time: 9am-6pm
7pm-9pm Dinner Reception/Awards Ceremony
The BKI Memorial Hospital is being expanded to include a section specifically offering free clitoral reconstructive surgery to victims of female genital mutilation. This will reduce overcrowding of the main hospital. After an extended and slow construction process due to limited funds, construction has been completed and we thank donors for bringing us this far. Painting and finishing of the ambulance area is incomplete due to lack of funding. Hospital equipment is needed as current equipment is old and nonfunctional.
Over 400 women are on the waiting list. Project C.U.R.E has partnered with CAGeM to provide donated hospital supplies and equipment. However, they require a shipping and handling cost of $25,000 from all hospitals to ship a 40 foot container of supplies and equipment to West Africa. The hospital has been unable to raise these funds and is asking donors for assistance.
Surgeons Dr. Diane Sklar of San Fransico Medical Center and Dr. Peter Meade of Tulane University Department of Surgery, have accepted volunteer positons at CAGeM to be trained as clitoral reconstructive surgeons and in return, perform the surgeries on patients at the free FGM hospital. They have also agreed to train local volunteer surgeons.
Please help us open our doors to the hundreds of women on our waiting list.
Recently CAGeM entered the village of Amassoma in Bayelsa State where a 15 year old girl died of post circumcision hemorrhage and her 17 year old sister ran away from home escaping the same fate. The girl has still not been found and no one has been persecuted for the death.
An FGM practitioner was interviewed (see video below) about why she continues to “circumcise” women. Findingout the reasons for the practice in a community is instrumental for targeted and successful eradication efforts. CAGeM is currently working on eradication in the community and has rescued girls at risk to safe houses and added victims from the community to the waiting list for the free FGM victim restoration hospital.
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