TDT is encouraging all its members and friends to watch, and spread the word on, the upcoming episode of BBC 4’s Storyville series Defying the Cutting Season. It will air at 10.30pm on Tuesday, 26th February, and thereafter will be available on BBC iPlayer via the link.
We understand that this is a shortened version of the film In the Name of your Daughter which has created such an impression on all who have watched it. As we commented after the Raindance Festival in London last October: “No-one who watches this film can fail to be moved by the fear of girls facing FGM, unable to trust those who should be caring for them. Equally, however, all will be uplifted by the spirit of the girls, and the determination of many to pursue studies and realise their dreams. In addition to its anti-FGM work, girls’ education is one of TDT’s focuses.”
The programme will highlight the reasons that FGM is so entrenched in parts of northern Tanzania, the courage of those involved in campaigning against the practice, and the spirit of the girls looking for protection and themselves becoming campaigners.
It will also feature the Safe House built with funds raised via TDT from generous donors around the world. But here we must ask viewers to understand one big difference with the present situation: Rhobi is no longer operating from that new, purpose-built premises, there is no major patron, no access to the vehicle donated for anti-FGM work, and therefore the need for financial support is very great.
TDT raised funds to build the Safe House under the understanding that it would be operated by ACT Diocese of Mara, and indeed the Safe House is now in the hands of the Diocese. It has been a great disappointment, however, that Rhobi was unable to continue as Director, that the Safe House thereby lost its driving force, and that TDT no longer has any meaningful input.
Bringing Hope to Girls
Instead, we are delighted to be able to continue supporting Rhobi Samwelly in the work of her NGO, Hope for Girls and Women.
It is just over a year since the establishment of Hope. Rhobi and her team now operates from two rented properties, in Butiama and Mugumu, which lack most of the comforts of the well-appointed original Safe House. The vehicle donated to the original Safe House for anti-FGM work is no longer available to her.
The journey has therefore not been an easy one, but Hope protected almost as many girls in its first year – 315 – as the original Safe House had in three years.
For a more up-to-date account of Rhobi’s work, please visit our page The Fight against FGM.
How YOU can help
If you are inspired by the programme, here are some ways of helping:
You can help spread the word via social media:
If you are a member of a group or charity which would like to be involved with the Hope for Girls and Women International Support Group, please CONTACT US
If you would like to arrange a screening of the full version of the film In the Name of Your Daughter for your community, then please contact JULIAN MARCUS