The Study Visit started from 5 March 2022 to 11 March 2022 and took place in Berlin, Germany. Participants from Germany, Spain, Macedonia, Tanzania, Ghana, the UK, and Indonesia participated in the study visit that was hosted by WASLA Organization in Berlin. In this project, we’re going to learn more about the Female Genital Mutilation issue.
Location: Wasla Office, Berlin
Date; 5-12 March 2022
Duration: 8 days
We started the 1st day with outdoor ice breaking and also built trust in each other. After the ice-breaking session finished, then we started the indoor activity with how to be a good and effective listener. And also continued learning techniques of non-verbal communication.
There are so many group discussions and task assignments during the study visit. For most of it, we split into groups of four people. One of the group discussions is focused on gender equality in Europe, Asia, and Africa. On this topic, we learn and find some issues in gender equality in each participant’s country. We dug for more information on government regulations that regulate gender equality. And we finally came into interesting insights from each country.
In the other group discussion, we delve into FGM cases in each country. And we did research on programs to prevent FGM practice and cure the FGM victims. All of the group were given time to find some information and resources for this discussion, and we made a presentation for each country and presented our work to everyone. At the end of the day, every participant got to know more about FGM cases in each country, and learn how to also disseminate knowledge that we got during the training course to our own community.
Another interesting event was, that we conducted a debate between a group of 4 people about the pros and cons of FGM practice. Because, we can’t really enter into a community and say that FGM is wrong, while it might be their culture for a long time. In this debate, we learned how to accept each other opinions on FGM practice, and how we can defend and respect what others might think in the matter of FGM practice. Some people might say that it’s something that has already been practised in the community for hundreds of years and they don’t need changes. While we later studied that it has a lot of bad health effects that endangered the victims of FGM practice.
We also had a discussion session with Sonja Störmer, she is a political scientist, human rights lawyer, and certified mediator. She is the policy specialist on FGM for Germany’s leading women’s rights organization TERRE DES FEMMES. Terre des Femmes is a non-profit organisation based in Germany that supports girls and women by raising public awareness, international networking, campaigning, individual personal assistance, and promoting self-help projects abroad. It was formed in 1981 by a group of women, inspired to act to help their sisters abroad help themselves.
And later during the visit, we gathered at Checkpoint Charlie on March 8th which was also International Women’s Day. And we held our banner in front of the public with some written information to stop FGM practices around the world from happening. So that we can give awareness to more people who weren’t informed about the danger of FGM practice.
We ended the visit in Berlin with an Intercultural night where we gathered in the office and were introduced to each country’s cuisine and culture. We really enjoyed this event and more importantly, we got close to each other and learned more about each other’s culture while widening our network around the world.