A LONG DAY
Inspiring Community Action To End Female Genital Mutilation
In 2020, we began conversations with The Girls' Agenda to produce a short animation film on FGM, with the aim of using it as a support tool to engage communities to abandon the practice and protect girls. We created a story concept and produced a screenplay that reflected the key themes identified for engagement.
In true RebelVZN fashion, we mobilised a team of talented professionals to produce A Long Day. This team included animators from Zenks Pro in Ghana, Image n Sound, Xalam Studios, STS Pictures and an exciting lineup of voice actors including adolescent girls.
Ataema started Kaira Suu as a safe home for girls at risk of Female Genital Mutilation in her community. With support from her friend Binta, she welcomes the girls into their home, takes care of them, and works closely with law enforcement agents to protect them.
In A Long Day, Ataema and Binta work together to rescue Sutay from her family home. They face protests and threats from Sutay’s family but remain firm in their resolve to protect her and other girls from FGM and its related dangers.
The film departs from traditional messaging and demonstrates an example for active protection for girls in communities where FGM is practised. It is a call to action and shows that a new reality is possible when individuals and communities take action and do the right thing.
With A Long Day, we took a turn from the usual messaging on FGM around what we should do – often without much commitment - and showed someone taking real action to protect girls from FGM. Ataema demonstrates simple actions that we can all take to ensure that we break the cycle of FGM in our homes and communities. The film also demonstrates that behavioural change can be influenced by collective action among all members of society.
We are honoured to have created this important story for The Girls’ Agenda, and we are confident that it will meet the goal of supporting their engagements with communities and contribute to positive change in the social norms that perpetuate the practice of FGM.
When we started RebelVZN, one of our goals was to tell stories that matter and inspire people to choose and work towards a different and more positive life experience for humankind. We are happy to work with partners like The Girls’ Agenda and other organisations to fulfil this mission.
MESSAGE FROM THE GIRLS' AGENDA
Since inception, The Girls’ Agenda has used the media to raise awareness and mobilise community action against FGM and other forms of violence.
Ending FGM in our generation depends largely on how children and youth are informed about FGM, and how we empower them to use their voices, agency and skills to abandon the practice. Facilitating access to relevant information such as the motivations behind the practice of FGM, the harmful effects of FGM, the existing legislation, and the actions to take when at risk can be a transformative education and empowerment investment for Gambian children.
We have partnered with AmplifyChange and RebelVZN to produce this animation on FGM, targeting children in The Gambia with useful information to inspire action and end FGM in one generation. We hope to share the film with children across The Gambia and beyond, using various platforms and working closely with our partners to reach a wide audience. When we know better, we can do better. It is time for a better world for girls and women in The Gambia and beyond.