With only 59 days before the Walk To End FGM (#walk2endfgm), Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) is making preparations for their 5th event of its kind. On November 8, 2014 GWPF held the first Walk To End FGM (#walk2endfgm) on the Washington National Mall. Since that chilly November morning the organization has requested that the National Park Service (NPS) grants them an October date and an afternoon time for the event. NPS has been accommodating with GWPF’s request, and the Walk To End FGM (#walk2endfgm) has become an October afternoon event.
In the coming weeks leading up to October 27th, the planning committee and volunteers will busy themselves with the final stages of the event. A special meeting with the NPS is held to cover all of the logistics of the Walk To End FGM (#walk2endfgm). NPS must know such details as how the volunteers working the event on Walk Day will be easily identified. GWPF provides the volunteers with pink shirts, while all other participants wear purple shirts. The Park Service requires GWPF to have enough trash bins to accommodate the number of participants when they dispose of their trash. NPS only allows such food kind as bananas, bottled water and health/granola bars on the National Mall. With the help of In-Kind Sponsors, GWPF always ensures that there are sufficient fresh bananas, bottled water and health bars available for their participants. Other logistics are appropriate available restroom facilities, electricity, sound system, security coverage, metro/transportation accessibility, and if GWPF plans to have celebrities and politicians at the event, NPS wants to know. Those details might sound simple and obvious, but they are serious requirements by the Park Service, to which GWPF must adhere. Since 2016 the event has been held at the National Sylvan Theater at Washington Memorial Drive, SW, directly in front of the Monument and diagonally across from the new African American Museum. The site is indeed Metro accessible, only 2 blocks from the Smithsonian Metro Station. There are 2 public restrooms, one in the rear of the Sylvan Theater stage and the other is one block away from the stage. The Sylvan Theater is equipped with electricity, but GWPF has to remind NPS to turn on the electricity the day prior to the event. GWPF provides the sound system for speeches and light music. At a cost, the Park Service provides assigned Park Police coverage on the premises during the duration of the event. NPS requires GWPF to provide an estimated number of participants each year, as part of the logistics.
Other preparations of the Walk To End FGM (#walk2endfgm) include ordering of the t-shirts, obtaining sponsors, (both in-kind and monetary) engaging speakers, volunteers, preparing the day’s program, tracking pre-registrations, responding to daily inquiries, sending out reminders to register, providing weather and attire advisories, etc. As October nears, GWPF begins the countdown to the day. They send out weekly reminders, updates and advisories, which help to answer questions registered participants and prospective participants may have.
The guests at this year’s event are expected from as far as Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, and from cities all over the United States. You do not want to miss this year’s event, which is expected to be the largest. You are invited to visit the website at https://www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org, click on the pink button that says, “Register To Walk” and click on your choice to register as a walker, a volunteer, a sponsor of a walker or a sponsor of the event. GWPF is encouraging the walk participants to form teams and join in the fundraising efforts to support the restorative surgeries for FGM survivors, and other programs surrounding the healing process that is required in post-FGM years. As in previous years, the three teams that raise the highest amounts will be presented with first, second and third prizes. Participants are encouraged to invite family and friends to support and join their teams. Each year it becomes more competitive. To date, Aula Mohammed’s team is in first place, while Severina Lemachokoti’s team has reached its goal but is in second place.
This year’s speakers on October 27th are a diverse group of women. The Keynote Speaker is none other than Dr. Azizah Y. al-Hibri, an American Philosopher and Fulbright legal scholar who specializes in Islamic law. The Founder and President of KARAMAH, Dr. al-Hibri has written extensively about Islam and Democracy. Additional speakers are Psychotherapist Joanna Vergoth, who has dedicated the last 15 years to advocacy against FGM, and counseling survivors of FGM; Mrs. Lola Oje, a Nigerian award-winning Architect, who spends her spare time counseling women and girls against sexual and gender-based violence in her native Nigeria; Mariam Bojang, a speaker from the 2015 Walk To End FGM and a survivor-activist against FGM.
GWPF has negotiated a special rate and a block of rooms for overnight accommodations at the Marriott Tysons Corner Hotel at 8028 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22182. Tysons Corner is located in the County of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. The deadline to obtain the special negotiated rate is September 27, 2018. To make your reservation visit the reservation page at Book your group rate for Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.
The Planning Committee is still in search of volunteers. Volunteers are needed for both days, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. To volunteer, contact the planning committee at email@example.com or call 703-818-3787. If you send an email put the word “Volunteer” in the subject line. Volunteers may register at no cost, so get involved and be a part of this great event.
Here is How You Get Involved and Participate:
- Form a team and invite others to join your team and help raise funds
- Join a team that is already formed
- Register as an individual participant
- Register as a virtual participant and help raise funds (if you are unable to attend)
- Sponsor a team or an individual participant or sponsor the event
- Be a Partner Organization with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation in the Walk to End FGM
- Register as a volunteer
Effective this Thursday, GWPF will send out weekly updates each Thursday on registrations, team status, weather forecasts, attire and other advisories up to the morning of Walk Day. Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation looks forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 27th!
Comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 818-3787