Choosing a world free from female genital cutting (FGC): Aissata's true story
About Orchid Project
Orchid Project is a UK-based charity working to end female genital cutting (FGC) globally. FGC is a human rights violation that harms the lives of girls, women and their communities. Orchid Project partners with pioneering grassroots organisations around the world, and shares knowledge and best practice to accelerate change. Orchid Project also advocates among governments and global leaders to ensure work to end FGC is prioritised.
This animation and comic is based on the inspirational true story of Aissata, an activist from Senegal, and her community. It tells of how Aissata underwent female genital cutting (FGC) aged 7, and the consequences it had on her life, the lives of girls and women, and her whole community. Aissata's village went through a 30-month human rights education programme, which is locally-owned, delivered in local language, and resulted in the community choosing to abandon FGC, for good. Aissata’s story was developed in partnership between Orchid Project and Positive Negatives, a non-profit that combines ethnographic research with visual storytelling, and our West African grassroots partner, Tostan. The animation and comic are based on in-person interviews carried out by Positive Negatives in Northern Senegal, May 2018, and was developed with approval from Aissata throughout the scripting, storyboarding and animation process.
This resource has been developed to raise awareness around FGC and it’s often devastating consequences. It presents the “gold standard” approach to ending FGC, for which Orchid Project advocates as best practice for supporting communities to abandon the practice; through human rights-led, community-driven approaches that recognise FGC as a social norm. This animation and accompanying comic are available in English, French and Swahili. The resource is beneficial to inform key decision makers around how FGC can end and motivate them to act, to share best practice, raise public awareness on the issue, and to inspire and guide work at the grassroots. It can also be used as a tool within knowledge sharing forums, and by grassroots organisations within communities affected by FGC. Accompanying resources are also being developed to disseminate the animation and comic in UK schools, so British schoolchildren and teachers are better informed on FGC.