Young People SPEAK OUT!

FORWARD'S Youth Programme

Young People Speak Out!
Get Skills, Get Knowledge, Get Creative – GET HEARD!

Youth advocacy is about passion in the face of adversity: about challenging the status quo; questioning the expectation that young people are unable or unwilling to stand up and make a change. It is challenging the idea that the youth voice is too timid, too quiet, too distanced, too inexperienced, and too ignorant to have any impact.

Young People Speak Out (YPSO) offers young people the chance to gain skills and help create change in their communities. Together we can end FGM.

Who we are: YPSO is a programme that provides skills, training and support for young people (16 -25) and works with them to create projects, events and workshops in their local communities as a way to raise awareness about FGM in the UK.
“The message I take is that there are so many fantastically well informed young black women in this country and they are the ones that will make so much of a difference in the future of change and improvement for women.”

What we do:

  • Youth Training: skills building workshops and sessions on leadership, FGM, campaigning and gender based violence.

  • Youth Advocates: supporting young people to organise events, projects and peer education for their communities, peers and their friends. The youth advocates are also involved in youth empowerment and campaigning projects.
    “I feel that YPSO is important to FORWARD’s work as it gives youths a way to not only feel involved, but like they have an active input into helping make a change.” – YPSO member

  • Public Awareness Events and Projects: organising creative, interactive and inspiring events to raise awareness of FGM including spoken word and music events, photography exhibitions and film screenings.
    “We were motivating each other, I didn’t want to speak at the event but as soon as I saw Ayan do her poem I was like, yeah I can do that! I didn’t feel alone; I had the whole group with me.” – YPSO member

  • Outreach and Support: emotional support for young women affected by or at risk of FGM, as well as supporting them to access specialised medical support. We are always more than willing to just have a chat about things – the first step is breaking the silence.
    “Thank you for all your support, that [FGM procedure] was really a raw part of my history/life and I always thank Allah firstly and secondly that I crossed paths with this lovely organisation [FORWARD] and the beautiful girls and professionals… who made this platform possible.”

  • School Awareness Project: we deliver FGM awareness sessions to schools, colleges, universities, and youth centres. We deliver sessions to both students/young people as well staff or adults working with young people.
    “I am now discussing about FGM with all my mates at the college, trying to find out if anyone knew about it before, and try to get more friends to join the workshops. Most of my friends did not know about it, some have heard about it but did not think it could happen in the UK.” – YPSO member

  • Youth Friendly FGM Resources: getting the information and the facts to young people in a way that is creative, fun, engaging and easy to understand. It’s important for young people to be in the know.

  • Research: young people’s experiences, knowledge and attitudes of FGM are important too. We conduct research with young people to make sure you get heard.

How to get involved:

There are lots of ways to get involved – don’t worry it you feel your knowledge of FGM needs some work; we offer free training and support about FGM, leadership and advocacy.

“Getting young people involved broadens our horizons in what we can do; bringing new ideas to the table so we don’t get stagnant about such important issues. When I taught about FGM… I had girls coming up to me saying ‘How can I get involved?’ and I think that kind of enthusiasm is often underestimated.” – YPSO member

  • Contact the Youth Programme for information about upcoming events, free training and opportunities as well as projects
  • Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for up-to the minute news on the youth programme.
  • Get involved in our youth groups based in London, Rochdale, Birmingham or Bristol.
  • Give us a hand – want to volunteer, get work experience or placement and interested in charity work? Pop us an email to see if we have availability
  • Ask us to come in and speak to your class, group or community – we would love to!
  • Want to make your anti-FGM message stronger? Contact us and we would be happy to send you some of our youth friendly resources.
  • Need someone to talk to and get some emotional support or help getting medical attention? Get in touch – we are here to listen.

The Youth Programme is contactable by:
Email: youth@forwarduk.org.uk
Phone: 0208 960 4000 (ask to speak to the youth team)
Facebook: Young People Speak Out Against FGM – FORWARD UK
Twitter: @FORWARD_Youth

Think Again: The Film

FORWARD Schools Programme

FORWARD Schools Programme offers a comprehensive and wide range of services for schools. All of our schools services are delivered in a sensitive and age appropriate way by experienced FORWARD facilitators. Our schools services are flexible and tailored to meet the needs of each school and target audience.

FORWARD believes that schools play a vital role in protecting and supporting girls at risk of or affected by FGM. We also believe that young people should be engaged and empowered to know about issues that affect them, their peers and their communities. Work with schools is focused not only on awareness but also the role that everyone can play in supporting girls and ending the practice. Pupils are equipped to be able to support themselves, their peers and their siblings who may be at risk of or affected by FGM.

For more information on the Schools Programme, including our student awareness sessions, teacher training and outreach services, please see the document below or contact the Schools Programme Coordinator Vanessa at vanessa@forwarduk.org.uk

PDF file Creating Change Among Young People - FORWARD's Schools Programme July 2014.pdf (.pdf 715.7 KB)
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