I have to admit that, like many things in this strange world, I was completely in the dark about FGM. I have to use the acronym rather than the full and frankly too-descriptive title, as the physical horrors that some people endure, in the name of ‘tradition’, makes my stomach churn. As I sit here and type, looking at my gorgeous little 3 year old boy run around the house, I can’t help but think why anyone would take an active role in disfiguring and injuring their own child? As a dedicated family man, I do everything I can to protect my beautiful child and my wonderful wife (who’s enjoying some ‘me’ time at the theatre this afternoon) from anything harmful. This is another subculture (if I may be so bold as to use that phrase in a blasé way) that I’m only just discovering, and already it’s shocked me to the core.
I was introduced to the wonderful people at Freedom Charity only a couple of days ago. As a roving Apple IT chap I get to meet all sorts of people and work in all kinds of industry, but this one is a new one on me. I have many charitable clients, all giving as much as they can to the cause that they feel warrants attention and funding, but I have to say that Freedom have really plucked a heart string. I see strength in the face of fighting an adversity that renders those in the control of others to be maimed as per according to ‘we’ve always done that, our forebears did that’. That’s not right. That’s angering. That needs acting against. And so here they are, Freedom Charity. They work seemingly tirelessly on this, all having other commitments to earn and live, with this work done purely for the good of others.
So what can I do? Well, as a professional I can ensure their computers are working efficiently. And that’s essential. So why do I feel that it doesn’t really help, even though it does? I guess like so many people, when trying to stop an overwhelming, international tradition that’s clearly wrong, I feel that I couldn’t possibly make a difference. But each person who helps with the cause, helps. However they help, they help. The more people that help, the more people they help, until there’s enough people helping to stop it and those perpetrating this abhorrence feel overwhelmed.
I can do a few things to aid Freedom Charity. Everyone can do at least one thing — buy a badge, buy a book, read about it, think about it, and if it churns your stomach and you’d hate to see your own children go through anything like this, then give. Add to the cause, become one of those people saying “NO!”. No to child abuse, no to harming children, no to horrific traditions. Just no. That’s why I love this charity, and that’s why I’ll help them all I can. Full stop.
Rob Cole, Mac Doctor Norwich