Community development, Human rights

Nha Fala - Women Speaking on FGM/C

Nha Fala promotes a space for active citizenship aimed to women and girls survivors of FGM/C focused on their training as cultural mediators and activists for sexual and reproductive health rights.


Who is behind this?

Sónia Duarte Lopes

APF - Portuguese Family Planning Association


Who is joining forces?

Associação Filhos e Amigos de Farim (AFAFC) - Association Sons and Friends from Farim.


Will be established informal partnerships with a visual artist to guide a workshop and paint a giant canvas; and public and cultural spaces to accommodate part of the activities.


Idea pitch

It is estimated that in Portugal 8406 women and girls are survivors or at risk of FGM/C. The Nha Fala’s project will work with a group of women from affected communities, creating a safe space for civic participation in themes as sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), pleasure and gender. The goal of the sessions is to train the group as cultural mediators serving as a support network for other women survivors in their communities.

Where will your project idea take place?

In the municipality of Sintra (district of Lisbon, Portugal).

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

- To build a holistic response to women and girls survivors of FGM/C part of affected communities, which are mostly located in Sintra’s area.
- Difficulty in articulating the time available for the participation of women and girls in group sessions due to their situation of vulnerability. It is relevant to mention that the group's certification for participating in the sessions will be an asset for their curricular and personal valorization and that the costs associated with childcare during the meetings time will be covered by Nha Fala’s project.
- Stigma associated with sexual trauma, as a consequence of FGM/C practice, and the way the sexuality of these women and girls is experienced and expected by them and inside their communities.

Who are you doing it for?

The central beneficiary audience of the project are women and girls survivers of FGM/C who are part of vulnerable communities in order to empower them to become cultural mediators and activists for sexual and reproductive health and rights in their groups, strengthening a support network in communities affected by the practice, contributing for improvements in the access to services, multiplying the best practices and encouraging holistic approaches by public health services.

How do you plan to get there?

Capacity Activities:
20 sessions with a total of 7 women and girls survivers of FGM/C with final certification as cultural mediators (total of 3-hours per session);
Training actions according to the needs in the field of SRHR and gender;
Distribution of materials previously produced by APF, such as the Migrant Passport for Access to SRHR (information document on the rights to access health care for the migrant population) and Kit on how to approach the theme of FGM/C to be multiplied in the future by the participants as mediators inside their communities;
Promotion of a collective artistic workshop, participated by the group of women and guided by an artist, to produce a giant canvas to be used in campaigns and occupy multiple spaces of the city;
Writing of a "Letter to the Communities" and building of proposals to advocacy processes at European and national level (GREVIO; End FGM).
Articulation with members of the community to ensure paid care services for children and people under the care of these women to enable their full participation in the activities of the project.

Final Event:
Photographic exhibition to be shown in spaces in Sintra and Lisbon (Life Stories method);
Cultural event with a musical concert to deliver certificates and present materials and results with community participation, bringing a free cultural event to the periphery of Sintra.

What are the expected results?

- Training of cultural mediators strengthening a support network for women and girls survivors of FGM/C in the affected communities;
- Creation of an online group of inter-help;
- Contributions by women and girls survivors of FGM/C to health professionals as multipliers of good practices from the perspective of intersectionality and interculturality;
- Consultative participation of women survivors of FGM/C through the delivery of the proposals at advocacy meetings by APF - GREVIO’s Shadow Report and in the European statement on health responses for women by the End FGM with guidelines aimed to all State Members of EU;
- Dissemination of the SRHR of migrant people in Portugal through the distribution of the Migrant Passport for Access to SRHR.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

- Certification and curricular enhancement of these women and girls as cultural mediators on FGM/C;
- Effective influence in advocacy circles at European and national levels through the advisory role in drafting documents (GREVIO’s Shadow Report and END FGM European Network statement), bridging the gap between APF's advocacy presence in these institutions and the diagnosis of the needs of women and girls survivors of FGM/C;
- Clarification of the rights of migrant people in accessing SRHR and the multiplication of this knowledge in communities through the training of participants as mediators;
- Creation of an online group of inter-help targeting women and girls in the communities.

Why is this idea important to you?

Sónia Duarte Lopes - APF Lisbon branch coordinator and PhD student in Gender Studies. Represents APF in several groups as Working Group against FGM/C and other harmful practices that supervises the National Plan and GREVIO Shadow Report, organization of regional seminar "Zero Tolerance for FGM". Sonia joined the END FGM Board in April 2019.

Eduardo Jaló - President of the association Filhos e Amigos de Farim, whose activities are focused locally in the Municipality of Sintra with migrant communities affected by FGM/C, and an activist in the fight against FGM/C.

Catarina Ramalho - Community project officer at APF and active part of the intersectional feminist social movement in Portugal.

Ussumane Mandjam - Facilitator with affected communities.

€ 34969,-

Total budget

€ 34969,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Coordination - 2714,77€
Staff - 23763,47€
Indirect Costs - 1800€
Communication - 360€
Prints 500 un. - 1250€
Staff Transport - 200€
Local Transport (to participants) - 400€
Coffeebreak - 300€
Childcare - 1000€
Rental Space Meeting - 1080€
Designer - 200€
Facilitator/Artist (Collective Workshop) - 300€
Material Production - 100€
Photographer/Story Teller (Final Exhibition) - 300€
Photos Exhibit - 300€
Musicians (Final Event) - 600€
Audio Material Rent (Final Event) - 300€

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Feedback from other similar experiences to exchange ideas;
Whether the bridge between the empowerment of women and girls survivers of FGM/C and their active participation through contributions to political and advocacy processes at European and national level is articulated in an objective way?


Catarina Ramalho

Eduardo Jaló

Sonia Duarte Lopes

Ussumane Mandjam

Idea created on April 20, 2021
Last edit on April 22, 2021

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