Ann-Marie Wilson, Britain

Ann-Marie Wilson, Britain

Working to end FGM and violence against women and girls, specifically across Africa and the diaspora where FGM is practised.

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FGM originates in Africa, occurring in 28 of its countries and in diaspora communities. Through research reports, we share knowledge to help change laws, making FGM illegal. We educate girls at risk of physical and psychological harm from FGM. We advocate for change from within, partnering with communities.

As founder and executive director of 28 Too Many, I set the strategy and vision with the board, leading the management team and volunteers across the UK, Kenya and Mali. We work with UK and overseas governments, speaking at key international conferences, raising individual and church partners and rallying interfaith groups to end FGM in our generation.

Watch Ann-Marie’s presentation for the Africa conference 2021

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Ann-Marie’s story

I worked in HR for 12 years, and then ran a counselling practice. I used my business studies degree, psychology doctorate and counselling skills with Medair in Kosovo, northern Uganda, northern Kenya and northern and southern Sudan.

In West Darfur I met a girl who had experienced FGM at age five. At age ten, she was raped and fell pregnant by the militia who razed her village. I felt God calling me to speak out for girls like her – young, abused, abandoned and isolated.

I trained for five years in cross-cultural studies, Islam, anthropology, gender and development at All Nations Christian College, followed by midwifery and fistula rehabilitation in northern Pakistan and Nigeria. I volunteered for a UK FGM charity, then worked in a Somali refugee camp in northern Kenya before starting 28 Too Many.

I feel it is the duty of the Church to engage in pioneering justice issues such as ending FGM. Church Mission Society helps me gain prayer and support and access wider audiences. I have seen great advances in ending FGM, but the journey is not over yet. I believe it will end in my lifetime.

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