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Pupils at Northampton International Academy become FGM peer mentors

Posted on: 23/10/2019

Girls at Northampton International Academy have been learning about female genital mutilation as part of a new peer mentoring programme.

The charity Creating Equalz worked with pupils to teach them about female genital mutilation (FGM), which is an illegal procedure often carried out on girls aged between four and 13 from some African and Middle Eastern countries.

Creating EqualzNorthampton is one of the top ten high practising FGM communities in the UK.

The programme, funded by Northampton Borough Council and the Home Office, encourages pupils to look for potential warning signs in fellow students, including long unexplained absences from school and spending longer than normal in the toilet.

Laney Holland, founder of Creating Equalz, said: “The long term consequences of FGM is immense for women and girl survivors alike. In addition, FGM isn’t spoken of much within practicing communities.

“We wanted to create a programme that gave young women and girls knowledge around FGM, escalation and peer support. Young people would more likely disclose to their peers, but, in just raising the awareness of this practice was an important element of this work.

“So far the girls at Northampton International Academy are embracing the learning to better support their school community and become future Ambassadors for the Stop Violence Against Women and Girls campaign (VAWG), and we are so proud of their interaction.”

Headteacher Tim Marston said: “FGM can be a really difficult topic to talk about, so I’m incredibly proud of our students for taking part in this peer mentoring scheme to help raise awareness of this vital issue.”

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