Guest blog by Noa Marson.
Last July, I, Noa Marson, 28 Too Many’s Youth Ambassador delivered a speech to my school about FGM, where it happens and what young people can do to help end it. This brought to light a very serious issue, which many students were very surprised to find out that they knew little about. Laura Lewis and I, both 15-year old teenagers, were considering ways to support 28 Too Many, and decided upon a fundraiser.
After spending a while considering our options, we decided upon something engaging and fun: cycling around central London in animal costumes. This was perfect because it took us out of our comfort zones in a very public area, whilst feeling honoured to help make a difference in the struggle to end FGM. As young girls, we both feel responsible to take a stand against FGM, a practice that if we lived somewhere else, could seriously affect us. We wanted to support other girls and women across the world, and that is why we decided to do this, as well as bringing it to the attention of other young people that we know.
On the early morning of 30th August 2015, we got into our animal costumes and cycled around central London on the Santander bikes. We began in Camden Town but started our planned route in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, and over 11km passed many famous attractions. Some of these were Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park Corner, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus and Green Park. We had a very enjoyable time, and even though the animal costumes could have been embarrassing, the public were very supportive and we would like to do it again!
Overall the fundraiser was a great success. So far we have raised £380, which will make a great difference to help 28 Too Many end FGM. Our family and friends were very supportive, and we hope that next time we can get more people on board to cycle with us and raise even more money.
We are very grateful to 28 Too Many for giving us the opportunity to raise money for such an important cause. Raising awareness amongst our family and friends has made a great difference as we know that many of our friends have now developed a passion to campaign against FGM with us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog, and if you would like to donate please visit our JustGiving page.
If you want to take action, you can learn more about 28 Too Many's work to end FGM and how you can help at www.28toomany.org. You can donate to support our research and campaigns and follow us on Facebook for updates on the global movement to end FGM.