National Conversations & Best Practice on FGM – 10th December

Date: 10th December 2018 Time: 10.30am to 4pm

Venue: The British Muslim Heritage Centre, 100-106 College Road, Manchester  M16 8BP

To book visit:

The event is being offered free of charge to community groups and their service users. A charge of £20 per delegate place will be payable for any practitioners or stakeholders places reserved.

The day will comprise of a choice of four workshops: Designer Vaginas -vs- Cosmetic Surgery, Type 4, Community Engagement and Cross Governmental Action Plan. Please indicate on the briefing pack which workshop you would like to attend.

If you have any queries or would like to speak to someone about this event, please contact Shazia Awan tele: 0161 234 3252/07940751877 or by email to

As part of the sixteen days marking international activism on ‘Elimination of Violence against Women‘ Manchester City Council and its partners are hosting a one day conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The FGM conference will provide a starting point to progress some of these challenges whilst contributing to improving collaboration, partnership working and discourse around this harm.The aim of the event is to stimulate conversations on FGM and in particular how we engage, reach and work in partnership to tackle harmful practices.

The event will also showcase examples of best practice around community engagement, work with survivors and insight into type four. It is hoped that conversations developed on the day will enable communities to be heard more widely within national discourse and identify new practical interventions for stakeholders, practitioners and policy makers. The conversations emerging from the event will feed into the Cross Governmental Action Plan on ‘Ending Violence against Women and Girls’ providing localised insight and adding value to existing practice, collaboration and complex safeguarding.

This event is supported by The British Muslim Heritage Centre, Manchester City Council and partners.

Keynote Speakers
Peggy Mulongo – Director Nestac
Peggy is a Registered cross-cultural Mental Health Practitioner with 15 years experience of working with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in the UK. She is the co-founding member of NESTAC, a Refugee Community Organisation (RCO) addressing the needs of African population living in Greater Manchester and beyond, since 2003.

Peggy is an expert in delivering cross-cultural psycho social therapy to refugees and asylum seekers, especially women from African descent, who have experienced mental distress such as that associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or child prostitution.

Peggy is a FGM campaigner and trainer, raising FGM awareness to professionals and within practicing communities. She is the initiator of FGM Programmes called Support our Sisters (SOS); BJM Award-Winner 2015; and of the Guardian Project, supporting adult and young girls who have been through FGM and those at risk. Peggy manages three FGM therapeutic clinics in Greater Manchester.

Valentine Nkoyo – Director, Mojatu Foundation, Nottingham
Valerie is a human rights activist and campaigner against social injustice especially those affecting girls and women. She is Director of the Mojatu Foundation. Her leadership, lobbying and community engagement and the support of the foundation and other partners influenced Nottingham City to officially declare Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – the first in the UK to do so.

This included working on a set of commitments which involve working and supporting survivors and affected communities. This was later recognised through her work with Members of Parliament, Women Federation for World Peace International and United Nations. She is currently working closely with the Kenya National Anti-FGM Board to develop a national strategic plan to tackle FGM in Kenya. Having struggled to access education and having experienced discrimination as a young Maasai woman, Valentine has fought for her education at every stage, to inspire the younger generation to value education and invest in others. She turned her struggles and discrimination into inspiration to be the voice for the voiceless. She is a multi-award winner including a Global Peace Ambassador for the Global Women’s Peace Network, Regional International Student of the year by the British Council and UK Young Woman of the Year by the Women Federation for World Peace.

Barry Gillespie, Consultant in Public Health, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning
Barry has spent most of his working life in Manchester, working as a Public Health Consultant since 2003, having previously worked in central and north Manchester as a health promotion officer between 1989 and 1996. He joined the Manchester Safeguarding Children Board (MSCB) in 2013 when he was the lead for Children’s Public Health services in the city. He has chaired the MSCB’s Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) since 2013 and the FGM Partnership Group since its inception in May 2014.

Leethen Bartholomew, Head of National FGM Centre
Leethen was appointed Head of the National FGM Centre in December 2017. Prior to this he worked for the Social Care Institute of Excellence, a Safeguarding Children Board, Children’s Social Care in London and the Probation service. He has vast experience as a trainer, auditor and safeguarding consultant. Leethen has worked for several years across the UK with communities and professionals to raise awareness of FGM and other harmful practices.

Rose Ssali – FGM Programmes Manager, Afruca
Rose has worked with African communities within Greater Manchester region for the past fifteen years. Since 2016 she has been the Lead FGM Coordinator and Programmes Manager at AFRUCA. Her experience ranges from providing emotional support for families at risk or who have undergone FGM to training hundreds of practitioners and service professional in the field of safeguarding. Rose is also an active member of many Governmental Advisory and Working Groups on FGM within Greater Manchester such as the National FGM Stakeholders Forum.

Rose holds a degree in Social Sciences, a Masters in English, a Post-graduate Certificate in Asset Based Community Approaches and is a qualified Counsellor. She is the researcher and author of “Voices of the Community- Exploring FGM within the African Communities in Greater Manchester” on generic FGM and the other on Labia elongation. She has worked with over 1160 parents and carers in the last six years.


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