This Saturday, August 22, 2015 the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation will open the second location of the Global Woman Center within two months. The second location is in South Arlington, Virginia a block from Columbia Pike. On Saturday, June 27, 2015, the organization opened the first location in Washington, D.C.
The Global Woman Center was established especially to offer support for survivors and at-risk girls of female genital mutilation (FGM). The purpose of the center is to create a place where women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) are welcomed in the Washington, D.C. area; where prevention and rehabilitation of the practice of FGM takes place; where they can feel safe, and respected. The organization saw the need for a Virginia location, after the release of high statistics of at-risk girls and survivors in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C. location will service Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is partnering with International Emergency and Development Aid (IEDA) Relief in the Arlington Center. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, IEDA Relief is an international non-governmental organization specializing in international development and humanitarian assistance. In addition to their Arlington office, IEDA Relief also maintains other regional offices in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Mali and the Philippines. Both Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. and IEDA are excited about the collaboration in their humanitarian efforts.
The rehabilitative program at the center includes post-FGM counseling, proper OB-GYN referrals for check-ups and referrals for restorative surgeries for the survivors. The surgery will help survivors of FGM have regular OB-GYN check-ups without embarrassment, have normal childbirth without the risk of infant and maternal mortalities, and to live without the physical genital pain they encounter with every monthly cycle, with each urination and sexual encounter. The center has created a network of special OB-GYNs to offer proper care for the survivors. Many of the women live with the psychological consequences in post-FGM life.
The preventive program at the center involves training of school teachers, school counselors, school nurses, parents and members of law enforcement, as well as an outreach educational campaign to communities. Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation believes that if everyone is educated and informed fully on this practice, the campaign to end FGM will be successful. Education is the key to ending FGM throughout the world.
If you are a survivor of FGM and need to talk with someone about your experience, or if you know a survivor, please contact the Global Woman Center to set up an appointment for consultation. If you suspect that a girl is at risk of undergoing FGM, contact the Global Woman Center or law enforcement authorities.
The Washington, D.C. center location is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11:00am until 12:30pm. Dr. Chelsia Bhatti is available those days and times to meet with you. The Arlington, Virginia center location will open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am until 3:00pm.