Special Feature of the Month

Coping with Life-Changes: A Special Message by A. M. Peabody

Happy belated Fourth!  I hope it was happy for most of us, considering the challenging time in which we find ourselves.  I have been intending to prepare a statement from the time we were restricted back in March, due to COVID-19, but I hesitated.  The COVID-19 pandemic took us by surprise, and left us racing to the stores, emptying the shelves, and not knowing what to do with ourselves, our children, and spouses.  Women worried about not getting their hair and nails done, while men resorted to working out in their homes, in the absence of gym visits.  As the COVID-19 cases spiked, so did cases of Domestic Violence. Couples’ tempers flared, as they got on each other’s nerves. And just as we began to warm up to the idea of those restrictions, an old type of tyrant raised its ugly head – racial tension.

For those of us who have survived civil wars, a bloody coup d’etat, rice riots, Ebola outbreaks, etc. we found it a bit easier to adjust to the restrictions.  During the Liberian 1980 coup d’etat, we were under 24-hour curfew, and later it was downgraded to dusk-to-dawn curfew.  The COVID-19 restrictions took me back to the 1980 military curfews in Liberia.  Of course in 1980, we did not have the luxury of time to run to the stores and empty the shelves.

So I decided to do this piece around Independence Day.  The one commonality which all immigrants to America share is that either they or their ancestors all came from another country, in search of a dream; and that includes the very first settlers to the U.S.  The Pilgrims arrived in the United States in the early 1600s, in search of religious freedom, while other arrivals sought economic opportunity.  Whether you came to the U.S. through Ellis Island, J.F. Kennedy Airport, Miami International Airport, Dulles International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, swam or walked across the border, you or your ancestors came due to a reason and with a purpose.  There are the Native American Indians who were here prior to the Settlers.  Let’s not forget that the slaves came unwillingly, not in search of anything at all.  I am among the first generation to immigrate to the U.S. in my family.  We came 40 years ago, in search of safety after we had survived one of Africa’s bloodiest military overthrows of government, a coup d’etat.  Whether you are a descendent of the early settlers, a descendent of the unwilling slaves, or a more recent settler, we are all here in this vast country that promises freedom, liberty and an American dream.  We are all Americans.

Two Hundred and Forty-Four (244) years ago on July 4th, thirteen colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island) decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the British Empire, declared themselves a nation of the United States of America.  Be mindful that those who signed the Declaration of Independence were immigrants as well; they or their ancestors had come to this land, where only American Indians resided at the time.  They came in search of freedom, safety, enterprise, etc.  As time progressed, the faces of immigrants to the U.S. changed from the look of the early settlers to Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners.

So who is a real American, and what does a real American look like?  One of the things that make this country beautiful is the diversity of faces, cultures, accents, and languages.  You see, I was born and grew up in a country where mostly everyone looked like me.  The President and all officials of Liberia looked like me.  Aside from the people at the European, American, and Latin American Embassies, whom we did not see every day, everyone basically was of the same race.  Years later when I came to America for further studies, I observed that my schoolmates and colleagues frequently pointed out that I did not look like an African.  My question always was, “What does an African look like?”  Obviously, they had their own misconceptions of what Africans were supposed to look like.  But never once, did I say to them, “You don’t look like an American.”  Like Americans, Africans are a diverse group of people.  The North Africans have a different look from Sub-Saharan Africans, and even Sub-Saharan Africans have diverse looks. Once when I got into a debate with a Caucasian American, he told me, “Go back to where you came from.”  I politely told him, “At least I know where to go back – do you?”  That ended the debate.

According to Webster, the meaning of independence is sovereignty, liberty and freedom.  I interpret that to mean, the sovereignty and freedom for all immigrants, regardless of their place of origin, their color of skin, when they arrived or their port of entry.  The author of the Declaration of Independence wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Notice the line, “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.  All people of this country are entitled to those unalienable Rights, and that includes all immigrants; that includes me, my children, my grandchildren, and the women whom our Foundation services.  Let’s learn to look beyond the shades of each other, and learn to love instead.

The day I raised my right hand to take the oath of citizenship of the United States, I did not just take the words for granted.  I knew I had earned my citizenship, and I was proud to be an American.  I recall returning from a trip the first time I traveled out of the country with my American passport.  The Immigration Officer stamped my passport and said, “Welcome home.”  If you do not know, there is a difference when you enter with a foreign passport versus entering with an American passport.  So the next time you, as an American tell another American to go back to where he/she came from, please rethink that statement before uttering those words.  Ask yourself, “Where did I come from?”

Disclaimer:  The thoughts and ideas expressed in the preceding statement are those clearly of the author, A.M. Peabody, and not necessarily those of the organization, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.

July Special Announcements:  Events & Meetings 

Global Woman Awards

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 and social distancing, this year’s event Global Woman Awards will be held virtually through livestream broadcast on Friday, October 16th at 3:00pm, Washington, D.C. / New York Time.  The Board of Directors of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) decided to plan for a virtual 2-day event this year, in lieu of the usual in-person event.  Planning for the 2-day event takes several months, and since there is no set date in the foreseeable future of the country returning to normal public gathering, GWPF has decided to plan for a virtual event.  GWPF cares about the health and safety of their supporters and participants therefore we will feel more comfortable in a virtual event.

With only 100 days left before the livestream broadcast of the Global Woman Awards, GWPF invites you to join them on Friday afternoon / evening, October 16th to support their 2020 Awardees, and their survivor and prevention programs.  The evening is expected to be emceed by Tyra Garlington, local, national and international talk show host of Frankly Speaking.  You will hear speeches from Keynote of the day, Lyric Thompson, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and from Maryum Saifee, a women’s rights activist and leading voice in the movement to advance gender equality and in particular, bring about an end to Female Genital Mutilation. Nine Awards will be given to deserving men and women in the categories of Lifetime Achievement, Education/Training, Advocacy, Survivor Activist, Man of the Year, Student Ambassador, Policy-Making/Legal, Medical/Health, and Lisa C. Bruch Woman of the Year.  This year, they will even have entertainment from Jazz Artist, Benjamin Jackson Caesar, America’s Got Talent Singer, Antoinette “Butterscotch” Clinton, and Grammy Nominated R&B Artist, Cyrus DeShield.  Don’t miss out on the Raffle items either!

Remember to register at:

Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2020 Awardees, and more exciting news in this month.

Walk To End FGM

Registration is officially open, effective immediately.  As with the Global Woman Awards, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) will hold the Walk To End FGM as a virtual event.  Perhaps you wonder, “How will a walk be virtually held?”  In this COVID-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed in-person meetings, parties, worship services, and other events transform into virtual livestream broadcasts.  Instead of the usual annual 5K Walk, this year’s walkers may choose the number of miles or kilometers they plan to walk, and have their local merchants sponsor them, by matching their miles or kilometers to a dollar amount. Participants are asked to walk in their local communities, take photos or videos and send them in to GWPF to be posted to Social Media and the website.  The pre-Walk To End FGM program will be held on Saturday, October 17th at 10:00am. The Keynote of the day is Heather Sirocki, for State Representative of Maine, and an advocate against the practice of FGM.  Every effort will be made to have everything we have done, annually since 2014, with the exception of physically walking together.  So please register, form a team, join a team, and help to fundraise.  This year will be different but fortunately for technology, GWPF will still host the Walk.

Monthly Support Group – Our Support Group will meet this month on Saturday, July 18th at 3:00pm Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Virtual Support Group Meet – Saturday, August 15th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th
  • Third Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, September 26th
  • Virtual Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Virtual Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the Year

The Education Toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

 

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                           410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police              202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness                  703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                                 800-994-9662

Trafficking Deeply Rooted in No. VA, but Education and New Laws Aid in Fight

Last in a three-part series on human trafficking in our region

By Wallicia Gill:

Every high school in Fairfax County had at least one case of human trafficking in 2018, while in the county as a whole more than 250 victims were identified, one third of them children.  These sobering statistics came from two human trafficking experts speaking at a recent meeting of the Women’s Rights Committee of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.  But the speakers also reported some good news: six pieces of anti-trafficking legislation passed in the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year, including strengthening the role of Child Protective Services.

The Women’s Right Committee, chaired by Holly Hazard, sponsored a Zoom call for members and others on April 5 featuring Alison Kiehl Friedman, executive director of International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, and Erin Fischer, director of community engagement at Just Ask Prevention.  Ms. Fischer said that 27 cases of human trafficking were reported in Fairfax County in 2018 — 19 for sex trafficking, the others for labor trafficking — involving 252 victims, of which about one-third were children.  She added that legislation just passed in Richmond will allow Child Protective Services, part of the state Dept. of Social Services, to start the process of protecting children before the police become involved.  Child Protective Services (CPS) professionals often see and observe family dynamics.  CPS workers can interview a child without the parent present if they are suspicious that a child might be a victim of trafficking.  Another new law, she said, broadens the definition of human trafficking to include victims of the forced labor trade.

The International Labor Organization reports 25 million people worldwide are modern day slaves, unwilling participants in a $150 billion industry. While most are children and women working in the commercial sex industry, many are forced laborers in global supply chains, including coffee, the shrimping industry in Southeast Asia, clothing, and electronics. Ms. Friedman was instrumental in launching a website, Slaveryfootprint.org that allows consumers to understand how certain products contribute to modern day slavery.

Children and women often work in horrible conditions to supply these products in India, the Amazon, and other parts of the world – including the USA, where the trafficking trade is estimated at $35 billion annually.  The speakers gave examples of human trafficking and exploitation of women and children—including rapes and assaults—on sheep farms in Idaho, ice cream parlors in New Jersey, hair braiding salons in Florida, and even an exploited domestic worker in Falls Church, Virginia.  The speakers noted that Texas receives 25% of all US hotline calls on human trafficking – partly because Texas law requires liquor stores to publicly post the human trafficking hotline number — (888) 373 7888.

Simple laws like this one, as well as training teachers, social workers, and health care providers to spot victims of human trafficking could significantly reduce these crimes.  In fact, according to the speakers, education is a key to stopping exploitation of women and children.  When community members know what to look for, reporting is more likely.  “Just Ask” provides a website that offers information to parents and community members.  “Just Ask” also developed and provided a Trafficking Prevention Curriculum included in Family Life Education for schools.

Survivors of human trafficking need support gaining employment and health care, noted the speakers. Pity and charity are not helpful—jobs and inclusion are. Many people believe that trafficking survivors typically have access to healthcare and are able to gain needed services, but this is not the reality.  Ms. Friedman is willing to connect individuals wishing to offer human trafficking survivors employment. She can be reached at Alison@icar.ngo.  Countrywide, a major resource to help trafficking victims and survivors, and to report potential cases, is the National Human Trafficking Hotline – (888) 373 7888. This is a 24-hour a day, confidential service.

Dr. Wallicia Gill is a retired middle school principal, adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, and member of Sully District Democratic Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.

June Special Announcements:

October 2-Day Event – The decision to open registrations for the 2020 Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards this October was delayed, due to the social distancing restrictions of COVID-19.  The Board of Directors decided to plan for a virtual 2-day event this year.  Planning for the 2-day event takes several months, and since there is no set date in the foreseeable future of the country returning to normal public gathering, GWPF has decided to plan for a virtual event.  Within a couple of weeks, the site will be open for registration and setting up teams to fundraise in support of our programs. We will utilize social media and video conferencing in October to host the Global Woman Awards on Friday, October 16th and the Walk To End FGM on Saturday, October 17th.  We will make every effort to have everything we have done, annually since 2014, with the exception of physically walking together.  This year will be different but fortunately for technology, GWPF will still host the Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards.  In fact, we will have some fun things with more opportunities to participate this year.  Stay tuned for the announcement of open registration.  Thank you for your continued support.

 

Monthly Support Group – Our monthly Support Group will meet this month on Saturday, June 20th at 3:00pm Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.

 

Board Meeting – Our Board will convene for the 2nd Quarter meeting on Saturday, June 27th at 11:00am Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21st.  Please remember to make GWPF your Favorite Charity when you shop at Amazon for your Father’s Day gifts at smile.amazon.com.  In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Upcoming – Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, June 20th
  • Second Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, June 27th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Virtual Support Group Meet – Saturday, August 15th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th
  • Third Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, September 26th
  • Virtual Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Virtual Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Support Group Thanksgiving Feast – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the Year

The Education Toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

 

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                           410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center             301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                                 410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police              202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness                  703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                                 800-994-9662

Why Do Physical Scars Matter? – The BBC Why Factor

By Christopher Gunness

The following story was originally published by The BBC “Why Factor”, and permission was granted by the author, Christopher Gunness to Global Woman Newsletter for republication.

Physical scars can be sources of shame or badges of honor: acquired accidentally or a cry for help. How should we read them, and what do they tell us about ourselves and our place in the world? We explore the practice of scarification, intentional body modification which has been practiced for millennia, where scars denote status within tribal communities and are worn with pride. Brent Kerehona tells us about the type of scarification he has: Ta Moko.

We meet stuntman Andreas Petrides, who has been Obi-Wan Kenobi’s stunt double. He also wears his scars with pride, but for different reasons: they are trophies of his profession. For millions, scars can be sources of embarrassment. We examine the constructs of beauty that might underpin those feelings. We speak to Hemani Modasia, who suffered scarring from burns to 35% of her body when she was a child, and who wishes, ultimately, she never had them. Scars can also be interpreted as a cry for help, transversing the space between the physical and the deeply emotional. Japanese photographer Kosuke Okahara tells us about his project which captured the scars of Japanese women who suffered from self-harm across a period of 6 years.

Former Vogue editor Jackie Dixon tells us the fashion industry is now embracing scars – they are part of the zeitgeist. We spoke to Jackie at a photoshoot in central London, where she was photographing a model for a book she is producing that celebrates scars. The program also hears from Professor Parashkev Nachev, a neurologist at University College London, and Nichola Rumsey, founder of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England. Parashkev tells us the creation of scars is not fully captured by science, suggesting they are both deeply mysterious and profoundly human. Nichola places scars in a social context, and points out they often render us outliers which, for many people, is challenging and uncomfortable.

Comments and questions to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 832-2642

May Special Announcement:

The decision to open registrations for the 2020 Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards this October was delayed, due to the social distancing restrictions of COVID-19.  The Board of Directors decided to plan for a virtual 2-day event this year.  Planning for the 2-day event takes several months, and since there is no set date in the foreseeable future of the country returning to normal public gathering, GWPF has decided to plan for a virtual event.  Within the month of May, the site will be open for registration and setting up teams to fundraise in support of our programs. We will utilize social media and video conferencing in October to host the Global Woman Awards on Friday, October 16th and the Walk To End FGM on Saturday, October 17th.  We will make every effort to have everything we have done, annually since 2014, with the exception of physically walking together.  This year will be different but fortunately for technology, GWPF will still host the Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards.  Stay tuned for the announcement of open registration.  Thank you for your continued support.  

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. 

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020: 

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program 
  • Volunteering  
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Upcoming – Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, May 16th 
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, June 20th
  • Second Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, June 27th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Vacances Sans Excision – Saturday, August 15th (No Support Group Workshop)
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th 
  • Third Quarter Board Meeting –  Saturday, September 26th
  • Virtual Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Virtual Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Support Group Thanksgiving Feast – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the Year

The Education Toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                          410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police              202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program        703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness              703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                   800-994-9662

Special Feature of the Month:

GWPF Celebrates A Decade: A Look at the Last Ten Years

By A.M. Peabody

GWPF sends well wishes, health, safety, love, and warmth to our readers around the world during this critical time of COVID-19.  Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. 

A little more than decade ago, my sons urged me to start a nonprofit organization.  They had observed my passion against female genital mutilation (FGM) and other violent acts against women and girls.  Although I was using my journalistic skills to advocate against such issues, they thought I would be more serviceable to women and girls if I worked from a nonprofit establishment.  I used my lengthy commute time to conduct my own private survey; I asked everyone with whom I sat, whether it was in a commuter bus or Metrorail, “Have you heard of something called female genital mutilation?” I did get some strange looks at the time; moreover, they were interested in hearing what I had to say.  I realized that at the end of each day of my commute, I had informed at least two people about the practice of FGM.  But I did not want to go through establishing an organization, when all I wanted to do was assist women and girls against violence.  However each time I expressed my frustrations and anger over FGM, domestic violence, or sexual assault, my sons reminded me how more effective I would be if I worked through an organization.

I finally stopped fighting the calling and made the decision to establish an organization.  I had no idea what it entailed until I began the process.  I was fortunate to have an attorney nephew, who offered to assist with setting up the corporation and the other legalities without charge.  Harvin did not only set up the corporation, but he offered legal advice on selecting board members, and what risks not to take in my selections.  I called on Amie Jallah to serve on the board, since she was familiar with the nonprofit world, and I could trust a cousin whom I had known my entire life.  After much research, paperwork, and training from both Harvin, Amie, and my sons, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) was born in March 2010.

That was ten years ago, and as I reflect, I must admit that my sons were right.  Since the year 2010, we have watched advocacy against FGM take on new meaning; with the persistence of advocates, several states in the U.S. have had FGM criminalized.  GWPF was helpful in getting its home state, Virginia to have FGM criminalized.  Virginia was only the 25th state in 2017 to pass that law, and to date, there are approximately 36 states with laws against FGM.  In the last ten years, we also witnessed some African countries ban the practice of FGM, such as Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and the Gambia.  GWPF took on the former President of Liberia on her refusal to have the practice of FGM banned in that country.  In 2014, GWPF ventured to where no other organization had gone before; we held the Walk To End FGM.  The following year, we began to recognize advocates and activists with the Global Woman Awards.  We became one of the founding member organizations of the US End FGM/C Network a couple of years later.  We petitioned the Department of Education to have FGM included in their curriculum.  While we were unsuccessful on the Federal level, we were successful in Virginia, thanks to Former Senator Richard Black.  We collaborated with the U.S. Department of Justice in presentations, roundtables, and workshops.  We launched a support group for FGM survivors and girls at risk of it.  We sponsored restorative surgeries of women.  We trained school nurses, communities, and law enforcement on FGM.  We helped protect girls from the danger of FGM, both here in the U.S. and abroad.  We partnered with other like-minded organizations, such as Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press, Inter-African Committee, the Milken Institute for Public Health at George Washington University, and Sahiyo.

As GWPF reflects on the last ten years, the world has made great strides in the campaign against FGM.  However there is still a vast territory to cover; as I write this piece, approximately 8000 girls have already been excised today around the world.  Hopefully the restrictions of COVID-19 will help prevent them from the practice.  The United Nations has earmarked the year 2030 to end the practice of FGM.  That leaves us with only ten years to accomplish that order.  Within the next ten years, will GWPF be celebrating, not only its 20th anniversary, but the end of FGM as well?  Optimistically, how I wish, hope and pray that we will, but realistically, I believe we will have made far more strides but will still have additional work toward ending FGM.  What we advocates can do is continue our relentless work toward the goal, educating one person, or one community at a time.  It is a slower process, but it is a surer one toward the goal of ending it.

April Special Announcement:

The registration for the Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards this October has been delayed due to the restrictions of COVID-19.  We will have an announcement with more information in the next newsletter on Tuesday, May 4, 2020.  Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping and Amazon donates to Global Woman Peace Foundation.

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Upcoming – Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, April 18th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, May 16th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, June 20th
  • Second Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, June 27th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Vacances Sans Excision – Saturday, August 15th (No Support Group Workshop)
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th
  • Third Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, September 26th
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Support Group Thanksgiving Feast – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the YearThe Education Toolkit – Now Available and downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

 

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                          410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police             202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program        703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness              703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                      800-994-9662

GWPF Teaches FGM at Freedom High School in Loudoun County, Virginia

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation accepted a special invitation from Freedom High School in Loudoun County to teach their senior class students about female genital mutilation (FGM).  It began when an assistant Sunday school volunteer teacher asked Angela Peabody, GWPF’s Executive Director about what she does when she isn’t teaching Sunday school.  The Assistant Sunday school teacher happens to be a senior at Freedom High School.  Peabody briefly explained to her about her organization and the work they do.  The student acknowledged that she had heard of FGM, and expressed interest, but they were interrupted when the children and parents arrived for Sunday school class.  Two days later, Peabody received an email from the high school senior with her teacher copied on it.  She asked if Peabody would be interested in coming to their school to lecture her class on FGM.  Peabody was surprised, yet elated that a high school student was actually interested in the topic.

After several emails back and forth, Peabody became familiar with the Social Sciences teacher, Rebecca Visna at Freedom High School.  Ms. Visna explained that she needed to obtain clearance from the Principal of the school before she could confirm Peabody’s visit to teach the class.  A couple of days later, Visna reconfirmed with Peabody that her visit to the school had been cleared, and her students were excitedly anticipating her visit.  Peabody admits, “I was a bit nervous because I did not know what to expect, since I had not taught a class on FGM under university level.”  She was pleasantly surprised by the welcome and the engagement the students exhibited during her visit.  She said later, “I could not have asked for a more attentive group of students.”

Ms. Visna had collected advance questions from the students the day prior to Peabody’s visit, therefore she was prepared with answers to the advance questions.  However the students had their hands up throughout the lecture and presentation.  At the end of the presentation, the questions continued to flow from the students.  “It seemed as though the students were hungry for more, and could not get enough of learning about FGM.”  Peabody later told some of her colleagues.”  She continued, “It is encouraging to see the sincere interest a group of high school seniors have about this heinous practice.  They want to see it stopped, and actually asked what they can do to help.”

Freedom High School, also known as Freedom-South Riding, is a top-rated public high school in the quiet Northern Virginia City of South Riding, located in Loudoun County, Virginia, United States.  It is approximately 25 miles west of Washington, D.C.  Although it might be described as being located in Chantilly, Virginia, the school is listed as part of the Loudoun County Public Schools.  The school was founded in 2005 with a current enrollment of 1,921 students, beginning from the 9th grade through the 12th grade.  They have a 13 to1 student-teacher ratio, and according to state test scores, 83% of the students are proficient in math and 95% in reading.  It was not surprising to Peabody to discover those statistics after her visit to the school.  With a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Social Studies, Ms. Visna is in her 4th year at Freedom High, and her 12th year of her teaching career. Last year, the law was passed in Virginia to include FGM in the Family Life Education curriculum, but formal implementations are still in the early stages.

Observance of International Women’s Day

Next Sunday, March 8th is International Women’s Day.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation wishes all women and girls around the world a Happy International Women’s Day!  This day has been designated for the observance of women worldwide, especially those who work toward creating a better world in which all humankind may live.

International Women’s Day was originally referred to as International Working Women’s Day.  It was intended to be a celebration to show appreciation, respect and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements.  As early as the year 1909, this day was celebrated in New York City.

More than a century since, the women in New York City have celebrated this day, and now women around the world will observe International Women’s Day in some form or fashion to celebrate what began long before any of them existed.  International Women’s Day was actually first celebrated on March 19, 1911.  By 1945, the day was celebrated in all socialist countries in Europe.  The United Nations decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, which was during the International Women’s Year.

Announcements:

2020 Walk To End FGM Registration Opens April 1, 2020

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) is pleased to announce that registration for the 7th Annual Walk To End FGM will be on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and it is not an April Fool either.  The 2020 Walk To End FGM is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th on the Washington National Mall.  Started in 2014, Walk To End FGM is a 5K charity walk-A-thon against female genital mutilation (FGM).  FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.  Most girls undergo FGM when they are between 5 and 15 years old.  Practiced for more than 5 centuries, FGM made its way to Europe, the U.K., Australia and North America due to the continuation of the practice.  The purpose of the Walk to End FGM is to raise awareness about the practice of FGM and to raise funds to support GWPF’s programs.

To Get Involved and Participate in the Walk To End FGM:

  • 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 on April 1st 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 on April 1, 2020

 

To volunteer, contact us at info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call 703-832-2642.  Register on April 1, 2020 at www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org and Walk to End FGM.

 

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  As such, your donations and registration fees are tax deductible to the maximum extent required by law.

 

Comments and questions to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 832-2642