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Anti-FGM news from Mali - One more prominent exciser decides to stop

Susan McLucasDear friends of Healthy Tomorrow and Sini Sanuman,

Our work against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Mali is continuing, in spite of the March coup over there.

Important Exciser Stops: After a long delay, UNICEF paid to keep the large project we're doing with them going and our 8 staff people got paid for their 4 months as volunteers and are working again with modest salaries.  Many meetings and training sessions are happening in District I of Bamako.  A recent highlight was a training session with the women leaders of the district in which a very prominent exciser, Siba Fane, announced that she was quitting.  We have around 200 such women, that we have convinced to stop over the last ten years.  Also, as part of the UNICEF project, billboards have gone up all over Bamako, showing our posters of famous Malians against FGM and the posters themselves are very much in evidence still, with 400 recently put up.  I'm attaching photos of the posters and bill boards.
  
Music Video on TV: We had a rug and yard sale recently which raised $500, that we sent to Sini Sanuman.  Part of it will go to put one of our music videos on TV.  It's "Ca Fait Mal" (It Hurts) by Adama Yalomba and it shows him and his wife cradling their imaginary child lovingly, saying they would never harm her by excising her, and convincing a family to stop, whose girl is struggling not to be taken to the exciser.  You can see it at http://youtu.be/a5w_RU2-q7A.  We are happy to imagine 4 million people seeing this.  Hopefully a lot of them will decide that we're right, seeing one of their favorite Malian stars coming out with that message.  The rest of the money we raised will go for salary and other regular expenses at Sini Sanuman.   If any of you would like to add to our total, we'd be very grateful.  We were hoping to make a lot more.  Creative Thought and Action is our fiscal sponsor, if you want a tax-deduction, otherwise make checks out to Healthy Tomorrow. 14 William St, Somerville, MA 02144 is our address.

International Petition: A number of you have wanted to sign the Pledge Against Excision and been disappointed to hear that it was just for Malians.  Now there is a worldwide effort for a UN resolution that is looking for international signers.  Check it out at www.BanFGM.org and sign it, if you like it.

Those of you who are on Facebook could help us get the word out about our work.  Go to Facebook and look for Healthy Tomorrow and "like" us.

With the political confusion in Mali these days, we are not focusing on getting a law passed any time soon, though we still want to do that. We're putting our energy into the campaign for public opinion and individual decisions.  I'm very inspired at the way our partners at Sini Sanuman have continued working, even in spite of very trying circumstances.

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