Vavengers, a diverse group of Londoners, has initiated the UK’s first ever billboard campaign to raise awareness of Female Genitalia Mutilation (FGM) as an issue in the UK. The first billboard is located at Greenford Road and The Broadway, Greenford, London UB6 9PN.
Vavengers was brought together by Hoda Ali, a courageous FGM survivor and trustee of anti-FGM charity 28 Too Many. Their aim is to raise awareness that FGM is an issue in the UK; to help those affected; to give advice to those who need it via telephone helpline. To also ultimately help end FGM so the next generation of girls including the 60,000 girls currently at risk in the UK, can live free from this harmful practice.
The Vavengers worked together to hold a charity gala which included an art auction and celebrity comedy night, successfully raising £11,000 in January 2015. Students at the University of West London (UWL), enrolled in midwifery and nursing courses, were also involved in raising funds for the campaign.
The billboard is a striking image of girls and women of different ages with FGM written across their foreheads with a helpline telephone number. There are plans to display on further billboards and bus stops throughout West London during summer 2015.
Vavengers hope this campaign will help prevent more girls being taken abroad to be cut as well as offering informative support and encouragement to those already suffering medical problems as a result of having been cut.
Hoda Ali said, “I am so proud of what Vavengers have achieved. Like other survivors I live with the consequences of FGM every day, Vavengers are helping to end FGM so that the next generation of girls, including the 60,000 girls currently at risk in the UK, can live free from this harmful practice.”