WASHINGTONJan. 31, 2019 — America Matters, in partnership with Kadi Doumbia, sponsored a community education event in Bamako, Mali, last month. A theatrical play told the story of a frightened girl who ran away from home to avoid being cut. For many young girls around the world, that story is their reality. Genital cutting, or female genital mutilation (FGM), is a cultural practice that results in lifelong physical and emotional health complications.

Doumbia used the play to engage in conversations about the effects of FGM on women and girls in practicing communities of her hometown of Bamako. She is an FGM survivor and is a 20-year activist. She has testified at legislative hearings across the United States in support of anti-FGM bills and has participated in many FGM events to bring awareness to this brutal practice. Doumbia saved her daughters from being cut and works tirelessly to save all daughters from this abuse.

“As an FGM survivor, I believe that it must be addressed at the source. Whether that be in communities, cultures, religious practices, or states where FGM is practiced. It’s with this belief that I travel whenever I can to educate people about the horror of FGM,” said Doumbia.

According to the World Health Organization, Mali’s prevalence of FGM among women between the ages of 15-49 is 92%. This is the fourth educational and outreach event Doumbia has conducted in Mali and was front page news in local media.

America Matters is dedicated to supporting survivors on their pathway to wellness, and educating communities and policymakers about the harm caused by FGM. I believe there can be a future where FGM is eradicated, where not one more girl will be harmed,” said Samantha Nerove, Founder/CEO of America Matters.

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Samantha Nerove is Founder/CEO of America Matters, a non-profit foundation that focuses on issues people care about not party or politics. She’s a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, paratrooper, and combat veteran.