We recently heard from Safe Hands for Girls, our partner working in The Gambia. Safe Hands for Girls accomplishes important work in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Atlanta USA, fighting female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. Founder Jaha Dukureh and Safe Hands for Girls often visit communities with a high percentage of women and girls affected by FGM/C to hold community discussions that include everyone affected by FGM/C: girls and women who have been cut, women who cut, village leaders, and community clerics. Jaha and Safe Hands for Girls are effective precisely because they foster these relationships. Changing cultural traditions is difficult, and they are slowly facilitating healthy change through their work.
Because the short- and long-term effects of FGM/C are severe nutrition is a critical for both girls recovering from recently being cut and women whose immune systems have been compromised from being cut. SPI partnered with Safe Hands for Girls in 2018 as a way to complement the work they were already doing by establishing community vegetable gardens for women. Not only do gardens provide important nutrition, but they can provide a livelihood alternative for cutters who depend on income from the practice. Economic freedom also helps women throughout the community claim more power over their own lives.
Safe Hands for Girls writes:
“It is with extreme gratitude that [these communities] acknowledge and thank you for your services and support to the women groups. The Seed Programs Initiative partnership with safe Hands For Girls has supported and empowered women by giving them financial independence.
Thank you again for your service, your thoughtfulness means so much to our organisation and the women we serve. We care deeply about the communities we serve and we appreciate your commitment to helping us serve to an even greater capacity.”
Safe Hands for Girls is changing lives and traditions, and safeguarding the lives of generations of women to come. You can see the garden and the amazing women who work on them attached to this report. Your gift supports gardens like this and our work with partners like Safe Hands for Girls.
From us, and from Safe Hands for Girls, thank you.
— Sweet Blossom Gifts and the SPI Team