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CHASING THE CUT Trailer

Watch the trailer to our film about Female Genital Mutilation
Also, please support our Indiegogo campaign to finish the film, end forced child marriages and offer girls and women with fistula free surgery to fix the fistula. We have only 9 day only, please donate to our campaign today through this link http://igg.me/at/chasingthecut/x/639146

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19 hours left to help end Female Genital Mutilation

We have only 19 hours left for our campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation. We wouldn’t have got here without your support and contributions. Thank you so much!
Please donate and do us a favor and encourage at least 3 friends to donate too because we have to raise the remaining portion of the budget in the remaining 19 hours. Share with them the campaign link and encourage them to donate http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

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Thank you again for your love and support.

Your Button Badge for supporting victims of Female Genital Mutilation

Thank you for supporting my work to end Female Genital Mutilation in East Africa and supporting my campaign to film and produce ‘Chasing the Cut’, a documentary film about Female Genital Mutilation. I just added a new gift,  button badge that you can attach to your lapel to show support for victims of Female Genital Mutilation.

I have only 150 pieces, please grab yours ASAP. It’s now the new featured perk and  has a ‘featured perk’ label on top of the perk list. Visit my campaign page HERE  and select your button badge. Alternatively, use this URL to go my campaign page  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

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I am very excited about this badge!

Thank you; Happy International Women’s Day

Thank you for supporting CHASING THE CUT, don’t forget that Indiegogo gives $1 for every $25 donated today. Please continue to share my campaign  with your friends and request them to donate today.

We are #InspiringChange – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

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BREAKING NEWS: 200 Uganda girls flee home fearing to undergo Female Genital Mutilation

 As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, a total of 200  girls in Uganda (Amudat district) have fled their homes fearing to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Not only are the girls afraid of FGM but also fear early marriage as the parents are desperate of dowry. Join us to STOP this. Support our campaign to film and produce CHASING THE CUT here http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

International Women’s Day Gifts

As the spotlight turns toward the world’s women on International Women’s Day (March 8th) and throughout the month of March, CHASING THE CUT is calling out to every one – both women AND men – to invest in ending Female Genital Mutilation and other forms of Violence Against Women. I have a couple of gifts for you for helping end Female Genital Mutilation.
1. A HANDWOVEN PURSE FROM UGANDA
A handwoven purse made by women Kapchorwa, Eastern Uganda who work with children and women in FGM practicing communities and other disadvantaged groups. Go to our Female Genital Mutilation Campaign HERE and choose this gift.
2.  HANDWOVEN BASKET FROM KENYA
A handwoven straw and cloth basket made by survivors of FGM  from Central Kenya, East Africa.  Go to our Female Genital Mutilation Campaign HERE and choose this gift.
3.TRADITIONAL AFRICAN CLOTHING
“African clothing” is internationally known because is its uniqueness, originality and great designs influenced by the people’s daily activities, food, climate and traditions. Traditional African cottons are made from natural organic fibers and are highly durable and often very colorful, comfortable and quite unique.
I  will send you a unique traditional Africa clothing from the communities that I will visit while filming. This is a great opportunity to have this wonderful clothing shipped to your address. Go to our Female Genital Mutilation Campaign HERE and choose this gift.

Also, please remember to share our campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation with your friends.

Much love from East Africa,

Inspiring Change by Ending Female Genital Mutilation

Source: Performing Humanity

By Ahabwe Mugerwa Michael

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, in part because it constitutes an extreme form of discrimination. Within the practice, girls between eight and fourteen years of age are cut by elderly women who are untrained in medicine and often use unsterilized razor blades or knives. The practice, allegedly, initiates these girls into womanhood and subsequently leads to early marriages.Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 11.16.51 AM

FGM has no health benefits, and the harm it causes victims has both short and long term health consequences, including infection such as HIV from unsterilized instruments, psychological trauma, and, in some cases, death from excessive bleeding. Later in life, FGM can lead to complications in childbirth and increase the risk of the mother and infant mortality (1).

In East Africa, FGM is practiced by several tribes with proponents arguing that it initiates girls into womanhood and increases their chances of being married off. Other tribes believe that cutting off some of parts of the females genitalia like the clitoris reduces cases of girls and married women engaging in sex outside the boundaries of marriage. Promoters of FGM have little regard (if any) for girls and women’s lives lost or for the suffering that they experience after undergoing this cruel and life-threatening ordeal.

Despite the recently passed legislation against Female Genital Mutilation in some East Africa Community member States, hundreds of infants, girls, and women are still forced to undergo the knife. Young girls run away from their homes for fear of undergoing FGM and miss school while others drop out of school. Local political leaders shy from publicly condemning the practice for fear of losing elections; and in some cases they have even helped offenders escape being prosecuted in Courts of law. Girls and women are not informed about their rights and protection provided by the available legislations (2). My visits to communities that practice FGM in Eastern Uganda have exposed to me to the need to continuously inform communities about the dangers of the practice and to empower communities directly to take part in projects and efforts that end FGM. Such community empowerment emerges from increased investment in girls’ education, assisting local rights activists in leading anti-FGM activities, and continuously exposing the dangers of FGM through locally preferred forms such as film, and dance and drama performances, which can easily be used to engage illiterate communities.

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During my most recent trip in February to a community that practices FGM in Eastern Uganda, I met girls who had been forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation and needed collective surgery. As a result of unskilled surgical cutting, many of the girls pass urine uncontrollably and require surgery to fix their fistula. My trip inspired me to work to create positive change in these communities; and I am to help girls live in safer communities that promote their full potential as individuals. I decided to produce a film documentary about girls and women forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation in order to bring personal stories to the world about girls and women who are either at risk of being forced into FGM or those who have experienced health complications or death as a result of undergoing FGM.  I am now in my final stages to travel to Eastern Uganda, and Western and Central Kenya between April through to May to film and produce the documentary. Via Indiegogo I am raising funds to make film, organize public screenings across  East Africa, and carry out FGM campaigns that organize a procession of hundreds of Activists to deliver a petition to the East Legislative Assembly in Arusha Tanzania.  I am excited by the prospect of reaching to millions of people and inspiring change through film a to make a difference.

FGM is not only a women’s issue. Men must also actively take part in ending Female Genital Mutilation instead of promoting it, as is the case in communities that practice FGM, where men argue that it produces better wives. By educating about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation and assessing our community needs, we can then shape our own plans to completely stop Female Genital Mutilation. It’s our communal duty to protect and observe women’s rights and human rights, to end the social, cultural, and political causes of Female Genital Mutilation, and, above all, to demand for action from governments.  I am committed to lead the call for change and help girls live healthier lives.

______________________________

Ahabwe Mugerwa Michael is the founder of two nonprofits in Uganda: ICOD Action Network and Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies. He is the Uganda Ambassador for Global Minorities Alliance.

Currently he serves as an associate consultant with Praxis Consult International, working on a girl-child education program in South Sudan. He previously volunteered with Lawyers Collective as a Uganda research partner in charge of identifying, summarizing, and translating court cases that impact the right to health in Uganda.

In addition to working on ending Female Genital Mutilation in East Africa, he is a food rights advocate and change maker, and he and has 10 years in the non profit sector. Ahabwe is an experienced public speaker with who has shared work both Uganda, South Sudan, and the U.S.

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Works Cited:

(1) The World Health Organization, “Female Genital Mutilation,” Fact Sheet No. 241 (February 2014): http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/.

(2) Center for Human Rights and Policy Studies: www.chupost.org.

Image Credits:

Tracy McVeigh and Tara Sutton, The Observer, 24 July 2010.

UNICEF.

What the world thinks about Female Genital Mutilation

This is what some people who have signed my petition demanding firm action against Female Genital Mutilation are saying. There are hundreds of wonderful comments on the petition page, I am sharing these today.

Dowling .M.

“FGM is a barbaric, dangerous and cruel practice that must be ended for ever, NOW.”

Cynthia

“FGM should be brought to an END”

Hilary

“FGM is, quite simply, an abhorrent denial of basic human rights – however it is perceived and explained, it must stop. Thank you.”

Lisa

“Educate all citizens, empower those at risk, and end FGM”

Leigh

“It’s the 21st Century… it’s time this unnecessary cruelty was put a stop to.”

Ayana .M.

“The ritual is absolutely inhumane (unnatural, disrespectful to our mother/father creator’s creation of the female body which was created w/ perfect purpose). The act is oppressive, horrific to any child’s emotional and psychological [mental] health, and is an underhanded tactic to mold/structure from a baby, a diminished self-esteem in young girl’s by the time they reach adolescence. I know for a FACT and with good reason that this unnecessary and unproductive ritual is definitely resulting from East Africa and the Mid Sib-Saharan government’s conscious or unconscious unmet needs due to poverty, stemming from a lack of resources, embezzlement of government funds (government fraud), with the root cause being unjust [government] leadership and spiritual ignorance. U.S. Person’s of Power w/ public leadership status (e.g. Oprah Winfrey) or somebody w/powerful [amicable (peacemaking) and negotiation] leadership abilities from the U.S. needs to step up and intervene to eradicate this barbaric, senseless, uncivilized act of despondence and hate presenting itself as self-hatred and self-mutilation…”

Join us and sign the petition HERE

REFERRAL CONTEST TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, PLEASE TAKE PART AND GRAB GREAT PRIZES

From now until 2014 until Friday February 28, 2014 19:00 GMT, I am running a contest to see which supporter can refer in the most friends, family and followers to my campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation!  Everyone is eligible!  All you have to do is go to the campaign homepage, grab a unique URL in the “Share this Campaign” field (below the pitch video) and get the word out as best you can.  There will be two winners: one for most total referrals and overall contributions referred in (min $100) and the second winner is one who refers the second highest contributors (min $50)  Anytime anyone clicks your unique link (that you copied from the camping page and sent them) to get to our page, Indiegogo tracks that activity and “credits” you with the referral.  I can then see who has generated the most traffic to my campaign.  Whoever does so DURING THIS CONTEST PERIOD will win Either a unique and beautiful African art craft ($127 value), or special African earrings if female or a unique bark cloth wallet if male ($43 value).  

Here is the general campaign link http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stop-female-genital-mutilation-kata-the-fgm-film

Click, then grab your unique link to share!  FYI, using the “Share” tools on the homepage works as well, as it automatically ties you to your post on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Email.

WINNING TIP: Send your close friends and family a personal request to contribute to the campaign and follow up with them.

More Details – from campaign Update tab

2nd REFERRAL CONTEST AND GREAT PRIZES; GRAB ONE NOW

In support of our $3790 fundraising, I am excited to announce the second referral contest. Our first winners are listed on the campaign Updates tab. Thank you Eddy and Mario for your incredible support and helping me reach out to contributors.

I am now rolling out these fantastic referral prizes in the coming days as we push for the fundraising goal and grow our efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation.

COMPETITION DETAILS

#1 – This referral competition runs from today Tuesday February 25, 2014 until Friday February 28, 2014 19:00 GMT.

#2 – The top referrers will be ranked based on people that they have referred to my campaign and the total level of contribution from those referrals.

#3 – To start referring, share the campaign link (below the video on the campaign’s Indiegogo home page) and get your network to contribute. Send your close friends and family a personal request to contribute to the campaign. Make sure you use that link to track your referrals.

#4 – I will publish a regular board on the campaign update page

–  1st prize for the top referrer is another unique and beautiful African art craft (value $127) perfect for your living room.

–  2nd place gets a pair of African earrings if female or a unique bark cloth wallet if male ($43 value)

–  I will send a thank you note on the campaign’s update section for the first 10 referrers

–  Anyone worldwide can participate

– Please don’t worry about shipping costs for your prizes

Thank you everyone for your fantastic support.

You only have a few days, so get referring now and win one of these great prizes.  Keep watching out for other great prizes to come on Saturday March 1, 2014.

Click here to donate to my campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation