The African Union Commission, through the Department of Social Affairs, is developing a Continental Initiative aiming at eliminating Female Genital Mutilation in Africa by 2030 – The Saleema Initiative is calling for young people to engage as Saleema Youth Victorious Ambassadors.
This Saleema Initiative aims at changing the negative social norms which Female Genital Mutilation is rooted in, by adopting a holistic approach that considers this harmful practice a result of a given social, political, economic and anthropological context. The Commission believes that it is only through enhancing the cognitive social capital of communities as a whole, and community members individually, that Female Genital Mutilation will be abandoned.
The Saleema Initiative’s communication campaign will thus focus on working at grassroots level, engaging communities, young people and women to take an active part in the dialogue that will shape the Saleema Campaign.
This approach aims to accelerate actions that ensure every African girl can grow to maturity in her natural and original form: complete, unharmed, saleema.
It is based on the premise that FGM is rooted in socio-cultural norms and contexts and therefore the power to abandon the practice resides with families and communities. The focus is not on what communities ‘need to give up’ but rather on “what they stand to gain by changing”. Only people-driven change can effectively end the practice.
A distinctive feature is the use of strong and positive communication techniques and approaches, affirming important cultural values, while building aspiration for change, and empowering communities to create an environment conducive to a positive decision making process that will lead to a cultural shift regarding this harmful practice.
Following this line of thinking, the African Union Commission wishes to engage young people at the earliest stage, and at the core, of this process by launching a continental Call for application open to all young African women between the ages of 18 and 35, to become our Saleema Youth Victorious Ambassadors.
The Saleema Initiative aims at protecting girls and empowering women. In this respect we wish to amplify the voices of 6 young African women on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from the 6 regions of the African Union who will work closely with the African Union Youth Envoy to advocate to end FGM.
This call for application will be revisiting the traditional African art of storytelling, so that you can share with us and the world your story and how it motivated it you to wish to advocate for the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
In order to be one of the 6 future Saleema Youth Victorious Ambassadors you must be:
- Between 18 and 35 years old
- Willing to express yourself publically on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation
- Able to send your content on the medium of your choice: video, article, poetry, song, painting, drawing etc
- Able to send your application between by 10th of December 2019 by filling this form
- Willing to travel to represent the Saleema Initiative
- By sending applications candidates must be aware that they accept the content to become property of the Saleema Initiative and can be used by the African Union and its partners in the context of events, promotion on any media with the assurance that credit will always be given to the author.