The Candlelight-KNH Abandoning FGM/C through Community Empowerment and Food Security Improvement project aims at accelerating total abandonment of FGM/C in Sheikh District, Sahil Region Somaliland over the period 2017 – 2021. The project will be implemented in five villages within the jurisdiction of Sheikh District namely Cagaaray, Himan, Dawdama, Hudiso and Isku-dar as well as Sheikh town leveraging social dynamics in favor of abandonment. The project will provide an excellent framework for better addressing both rights holders (girls and women whose rights are violated by FGM/C) and duty bearers (Government and all those working with girls and women, who all have the duty to eliminate FGM/C). This project is expected to maintain a consistent focus on changing the value attributed to both girls and women affected by FGM/C and those who are at risk of undergoing the practice throughout its five years.
The project is expected to empower target communities to make collective choices and decisions. It is also expected to contribute to the improvement of food security for the agro-pastoral communities, to engage traditional and religious leaders as agents of change, to support human rights legal frameworks/policies to be developed that accelerates abandonment. Empowering communities and improving their food security will shape their ability to take informed decisions towards abandoning FGM/C. Some of the actives implemented in September and October including.
Sheikh project staff implemented 60 tillage hours and distributed 122.24 kg of different seeds including tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, maize, sorghum and cowpea among 20 selected farmers in Ximan village. The aim of this activity is to contribute to the food security improvement of 20 farmer Households to mitigate the vulnerability of women, men, boys and girls in the target village. Through the four pillars of food security; availability, access, utilization and stability, it is expected that 120 individuals directly benefit from this activity, hence reduce the risk of girls being mutilated for the harmful purpose of marriageability.
Also 45 community facilitators from Sheikh town, Hudiso, Iskudar, Dawdama, Cagaaray and Ximan villages were sensitized and trained with health consequences of FGM/C practice, human rights perspective and Islamic religion standpoint was delivered to delink this harmful practice from Islam. These community facilitators were trained to act as agents of change and take and convey the FGM/C awareness message back to their communities.