Female Genital Mutilation Can Be Overcome! Female Genital Mutilation Can Be Overcome!

zur Starsteite
About us
Center for Profs
Our Partners
Project description
Infos about Science
Picture Calendar
Support our project

Within the framework of
our project an interesting
report about our work
appeared on ARD’s
Weltspiegel on
February 5, 2006.
Click here to start the Video
(AVI-File 12MB)

Start the video

Link to ARD Weltspiegel

Please, also visit our website
“As Friends to Kenya”
Black & White together
– a contribution to
sustainable development.
This project makes it
possible for women to
share everyday life and
culture with Kenyan
families via a
sixteen-day trip.


Link to the website

You are here >> News

Nomination for the Sakharov-Prize 2006


The Fulda-Mosocho-Project ist nominated for the Sacharov-Price 2006 for its
outstanding achievements in the fields of protection of intellectual freedom and
of defense of human rights.

This price, annually awarded by the EU, was presented to Mr. Nelson Mandela
in 1988 and to the UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan in 2003.

Sakharov Prize 2006

FDP Member of the European Parliament Alexander
ALVARO:“German NGO project nominated for the Sacharov Prize”

Sakharov Prize Inspires Art Project
European artists support nominated Fulda-Mosocho Project

Scarred by Tradition
Art Against Female Circumcision (Female Genital Mutilation)

Dear Colleagues,
since 1988. in the spirit of Andre! Sakharov. the Eu-ropean Parliament has
awarded the annuat Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in order to honour
individuals or Organisations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and
fundamental freedoms and against oppression and injustice.

Allow me to attract your attention to a very worthy cause. The Fulda-Mosocho
Project based in Germany and the Mosocho region in Kenya is a major success
story in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FCM).

l am proposing to nominate the Fulda-Mosocho Pro¬ject for the Sakharov Prize
and hope you will join me in support mg the ongoing battle against a terrible
practice which puts many young women at risk. both physically and
psychologically. The successes achie-ved by the case workers from Germany
and grass roots organisations in Kenya warrants recognition. so that young
women in other countries where FCM is practised can hope to receive a
similarly hopeful fu-ture. Within just a few weeks after the Start of the first
further education Programme in 2002 first members of the local Kisii community
decided against having their own children cut. The teachers who had been the
first to participate in the seminars soon had a multiplying effect on their
surroundings. Between 2002 and the end of 2005 it was possible to reduce the
rate of female genital circumcision to 32 percent from an initial 98 percent. The
success of the project lies in its pragmatic education-based approach offering
everything from general health education to gender-relations.

In giving their expression and solidarity against fe¬male genital mutilation
(FCM). many EUropean artists have enabled the production of this book that
you are now reading. The collection of artworks contained in this book bear
witness to the empathy and rage that we feel because FCM is still practised
today. E very artist that has made a contribution to this book has done so
charitably and with the utmost engagement. l am thankful to them that our
society holds such a treasure of engaged citizens, who use their talents to
help those who cannot help themselves. Speaking for those responsible for
real is m g this book. l'd like to thank Nils Oskamp for his unbelievable
achievement in bringing together so many European artists for this project.

Projects like the Fulda-Mosocho Project are the quiet and efficient initiatives
that help reduce the suffering in this world. People like Prof. Dr. Muthgard
Hinkel-mann-Toewe, who has brought the Fulda-Mosocho Project to life. are
the cornerstones in a world whe­ re people help those who cannot help
themselves. l hope that this book will help you. dear colleagues. to grant the
Fulda-Mosodio Project the Sakharov Price.

Thank you, Alexander Alvaro MEP



FDP Member of the European Parliament Alexander ALVARO:
“German NGO project nominated for the Sacharov Prize”

Strasburg/Brussels, 7th September – The FDP-Member of the European
Parliament Alexander Alvaro has put forward a German NGO project for the
European Sacharov Prize. “The Fulda-Mosocho-Project has been successfully
working against female genital mutilation in Kenya since 2002”, according to
the Liberals’ speaker for home affairs in the European Parliament, ALVARO.

The project, which was brought to life by Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe, deals
with the fight against the brutal, painful and degrading genital mutilation of
young women in Kenya, also known as Female Genital Mutilation, FGM. This
practice has been taken hold and had deep roots in society for years.

ALVARO: “This makes it difficult to bring about effect a change of thinking in the
minds of the society there. Through seminars, workshops and courses on site
in Africa with, for example, teachers, clan elders and chiefs, the Fulda-Mosocho-
Project can, however, already speak of its first big successes: In the affected
area the circumcision rate stood at 98 percent in 2002; since the beginning of
the work of the project the number of mutilations could be reduced down to 66

After ALVARO had already in July announced his support for the nomination of
the Fulda-Mosocho-Project, he started an initiative together with the artist Nils
Ostkamp (Illustratoren Organisation e.V.), in which artists were called on to put
forward their works on the topic of genital mutilation for the creation of a round
table book for the members of the European Parliament.

Alvaro: It pleases me greatly that a change of thinking could be initiated within
just a few years, whilst a complete end to this cruel practice still has to be the
aim. I hope that the European Parliament supports my proposal and recognises
the significance of this project.

More detailed information about the Fulda-Mosocho-Project can be found at
www.fulda-mosocho-project.com or from Claudia Wegener, tel: +49 (0) 661 -

Further information about Alexander Alvaro:
Alexander Nuno Pickart Alvaro (31) is speaker for the ALDE party on civil
liberties, home affairs and justice and chairperson of the “Campaign for
Parliamentary Reform”. Alvaro has been a member of the Federal Board of the
FDP since May 2003. The qualified banker and lawyer grew up in Australia and
Germany. From 2000 to 2005 he was a member of the Federal Board of the
Junge Liberalen (Young Liberals), at the end as the acting Chairperson.
Moreover he involves himself in the work of Amnesty International, Deutscher
Tierschutzbund (German Animal Protection Group) and that of the Stiftung für
die Rechte zuküntiger Generationen (Foundation for the Rights of Future

Martina Rozok, PR
ROZOK Communication Consulting
Sophienstraße 33a
D-10178 Berlin
T +49 30 4004468-1
C +49 170 23 55 88
F +49 30 4004468-9

Press Release as PDF-File (36kb):




Sakharov Prize Inspires Art Project
European artists support nominated Fulda-Mosocho Project

The European Parliament has awarded the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom
of Thought to individuals and projects working for human rights since 1988.
Among this year’s nominees is the Fulda-Mosocho-Project. The project has been
working against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya since 2002. In
accompanying cooperation with the grassroots people, the initiator Prof.
Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe and her colleagues have prompted a shift in public
opinion, resulting in a drastic reduction of the rate of FGM. Convinced by these
results, among the most successful in the world, the German MEP Alexander
Alvaro (FDP) proposed the nomination of the Fulda-Mosocho-Project for the
Sakharov Prize. To mark the occasion, Alvaro and the illustrator Nils Oskamp
(from the German professional association “Illustratoren Organisation e.V.”)
have launched an initiative for artists to donate their works on the subject of
female genital mutilation for the production of a book. The illustrators are part
of the art project “ART against FGM”.
Kunst gegen weibliche Genitalverstümmelung (ART against FGM – AAFGM)

More than 100 artists from seven countries have donated over 150 works of art.
These will be used free of charge for the work of the Fulda-Mosocho Project and
other anti-FGM organisations. Claudia Wegener from the Fulda-Mosocho Project
commented: “The women, whether directly or indirectly affected, will be
impressed and encouraged by the solidarity and sympathy expressed in the

The Fulda-Mosocho-Project has received great encouragement in the Kisii region
of Kenya, a very traditional area. On the basis of the Value-Centred Approach,
Prof. Hinkelmann-Toewe and her team have managed to create a new

there. Targeted teaching of knowledge and working out new ways in communal
discussion have prompted a cultural revolution in the Kisii region, bidding
farewell to female genital mutilation. If its work is honoured with the Sakharov
Prize, the Fulda-Mosocho Project would be the first German organisation to win.

The Fulda-Mosocho-Project
The Fulda-Mosocho-Project, founded in 2002, is a cooperation of the grassroots
people of the Kisii ethnic community in Kenya, the Center for PROFS, Fulda
University of Applied Sciences and the organisation “Vivid Communication with
Women in their Cultures”, Fulda. In a 3-year further education programme,
teachers – 50 % female and 50 % male - in Kenya have been trained as
respected multipliers. Seminars for clan elders, church leaders and chiefs were
the next step. In an equality-based dialogue with the local people, the project
succeeded in reducing the FGM rate in the Mosocho region from 98% by 32% by
the end of 2005.

47 former circumcisers have been convinced to give up the job. Over 4000
uncircumcised girls, celebrated in major public events as full members of the Kisii
community, have been spared the suffering that their mothers, grandmothers
and great-grandmothers had to bear for centuries. For them, human rights have
become reality. The project aims to achieve this goal for many more hundreds of
girls. For more information, see www.fulda-mosocho-project.com or call:
+49 (0) 661 – 65062 / Contact: Claudia Wegener.

The Project “Art against FGM”
Initiated and completed in only five weeks to support the selection of the Fulda-
Mosocho Project for the Sakharov Prize, over 150 pictures and comics have
been donated from Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand
and the USA. Due to the enormous sympathy and commitment to the project,
the organisers Nils Oskamp (illustrator/IO), Marian Meinhardt-Schönfeld
(illustrator/IO) und Nataly Brombach (copywriter/author), in close cooperation
with advisers from anti-FGM organisations and the participating artists, are
considering expanding the project.

After the announcement of the Sakharov Prize, the organisers plan to produce
a book and a touring exhibition around Europe, with the aid of cooperation
partners, foundations and sponsors from the fields of politics, culture and
industry. The project is already supported by the Holtkamp printing company,
Lünen (printing of invitation volume) and Station.ch (website provision). For
more information, see www.art-against-fgm.com.

Alexander Alvaro (FDP), MEP:
Alexander Nuno Pickart Alvaro (31) is spokesman for the ALDE fraction for civil
liberties, domestic issues and justice in the European Parliament, and chairman
of the “Campaign for Parliamentary Reform”. He has been a member of the
German Free Democratic Party’s national executive committee since May 2003.
The trained bank clerk and lawyer with German and Portuguese citizenship
grew up in Australia and Germany. From 2000 to 2005 he was a member of the
executive committee of the Young Liberals (JuLis), most recently as Vice Chair.
He is also an active member of Amnesty International, the German animal
protection association and the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations.
For more information on Alexander Alvaro see www.alexander-alvaro.de. Press
contact: Martina Rozok, Tel: +49 (0) 30 – 4004468-1.

You can find all submissions (selected works as printable files) and the PDF of
the invitation volume at www.art-against-fgm.com. If you have any questions
on printable data of individual pictures, please contact Nils Oskamp or Marian Meinhardt-Schönfeld .

For direct enquiries on the “ART against FGM” project, please contact:

Nataly Brombach
LexxHexx – Die Texte-Hexe | Auf der Böck 3 | D-40221 Düsseldorf
(Germany) | e-mail: | tel: +49 (0)211 - 58 06 186 |
fax: +49 (0)211 - 58 06 187

Press Release as PDF-File (59kb):



Scarred by Tradition
Art Against Female Circumcision (Female Genital Mutilation)

Art Against Female Genital Mutilation (ART against FGM – AAFGM) is a
co-operative of the European Parliament in Brussels with the German
“Illustrators Organisation e.V.” and the Fulda-Mosocho-Project.
Supporters announced the project in France and include the group
“On a marché sur la Bulle” (organiser of the Comic Salon Amiens,
among other events, and represented here by Aymeric Nercisse) and
Soline Scutella, who at project begin was working for “16000 images”,
Association des professionnels de l' image, Angoulême. The international
Equipe of free-lance artists with members from Europe, the USA and
New Zealand also took part, sending a signed statement demanding
an end to female circumcision. The AAFGM organisation team currently

Nils Oskamp – Illustratoren Organisation e.V., Hamburg
Marian Meinhardt-Schönfeld – Illustratoren Organisation e.V., Hamburg
Nataly Brombach – LexxHexx, die Texte-Hexe, Düsseldorf
Claudia Wegener – Fulda-Mosocho-Project, Fulda and Mosocho Market

Initiation and Intention
of the project is the creative struggle against female circumcision with
the support of established organisations like the Fulda-Mosocho-Project.
Since 2002 they have been engaged working against female circumcision,
also known as female genital mutilation or FGM, in Kenya. Working together
with the support of the people in the area, the project’s initiator, Professor
Dr. Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe and her team have raised awareness and
brought about a rethinking of this issue. This has, among other things,
also led to a marked decrease of the practice. Convinced about the right-
ness of the project, which worldwide is among the most successful of its
kind, the EU parliamentarian Alexander Alvaro (Germany, FDP) nominated
the Fulda-Mosocho-Project to be among the contenders for the Sacharov
Prize. This nomination in turn has motivated Alvaro and the illustrator
Nils Oskamp to invite artists to join an initiative to publish their works on
the topic of female genital mutilation in an anthology. These images and
anthology are part of the larger artistic project “ART Against FGM”.

It began with an appeal in several languages sent out through
the Internet presence of many European illustrator associations
throughout all of Europe, and has even reached points further abroad.
In the first weeks they received a huge amount of feedback in the form
of submitted works. Many men also feel concerned about the topic and
have also submitted works. Another incentive was certainly the way in
which this hitherto singular action combines both cultural and humanitarian

At the closing of submission on August 24, 2006 AAFGM had received more
than 150 works from over 100 artists from Germany, France, Austria, Spain,
Switzerland, the USA and New Zealand. The choice of images for the 32-page
invitational anthology took place in accord with the Fulda-Mosocho-Project.
Thanks to the support of the printer Holtkamp in Lünen, Germany, 1,000
high-gloss copies of the anthology “Women’s Art Protest Against Female
Genital Mutilation” were printed. The Düsseldorf software developers
“Hexerei” put together a new website for the Fulda-Mosocho-Project,
while the Internet agency “Station.ch” created a virtual picture gallery
for AAFGM, where all the submitted works can be viewed. Such images
are being provided, free-of-charge, to not only the Fulda-Mosocho-Project
but to other interested parties and organisations working against FGM.
Also planned, after the decision about this year’s recipient of the Sacharov
Prize, is the publication of these illustrations and comics in a larger anthology.
The original works will be shown in a travelling exhibition, in this way drawing
attention to the horrendous practice of FGM. This exhibition will also include
works by the Kisii people showing the cultural changes going on brought
about by their work with the Fulda-Mosocho-Project. The repercussions of
FGM are not only felt in Africa, they also have effects on countries where
immigration is taking place. In Germany, for example, there is no obligation
for doctors to report cases of FGM they come across. Gynaecologists and
social workers, for instance, are not currently equipped with workable
perspectives to properly deal with this issue when they come across it.
Above and beyond this, the anthology and the travelling exhibition will
also solicit and generate donations for support of the Fulda-Mosocho-Project
and other anti-FGM organisations.

Professor Dr. Hinkelmann-Toewe has been deeply touched by this project
and the possibilities that it opens. In her letter of thanks to the artists she
wrote, “Your special artistic engagement, my dear friends, is being met with
a special engagement successfully put an end to this practice, hand in hand
with those directly affected by this terrible tradition of female genital mutilation.
The idea of Mr. Alvaro and Mr. Oskamp to combine these two aspects is a way
to further this aim. This is exactly what we want – through the combination
of your artistic engagement and that of the Fulda-Mosocho-Project – to
successfully reach out to people who are interested in promoting the well-being
of thousands, of hundreds of thousands of innocent girls.”

Basic Information:
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
is a tradition in 28 African nations, in parts of the Arab peninsula and in
Asia. Under the most unworthy and unhygienic conditions, young women’s
genitals, girls between four and eight years of age, sometimes even baby
girls, are mutilated.

The degree of mutilation depends upon the local traditions. In the most
extreme cases (the so-called “Pharaonic Circumcision” or infibulation) the
labia, parts of the vulva and the clitoris are removed completely before the
area is sewn almost totally shut with only a very small opening. According
to the WHO, female genital mutilation is “the worst form of gender based

Many girls and women do not survive the procedure, others die shortly
thereafter – loss of blood, infections and other complications also exact
their toll. Those who do survive must suffer the consequences, which
cause the most natural of processes like urination, menstruation or even
childbirth to be unspeakable tortures.

Right now, the number of circumcised women around the world is about
175 million; it is estimated that around 6,000 girls and women (according
to UNICEF this number is closer to 8,000) are added to the statistics every
day. And this is not only occurring in their distant homelands, it is also
happening here in the countries of immigration in Europe.

The abomination of this procedure as well as the proximity and actuality
of this problematic has motivated many women’s groups and human-rights
organisations to found international and regional projects. Their main goals
are fighting FGM through the communication of knowledge and by developing
alternatives. Direct discussions with those most affected are the most important
tools of these organisations, one of which is the Fulda-Mosocho-Project.

The Fulda-Mosocho-Project
The Fulda-Mosocho-Project, founded in 2002, is a co-operation between
Kisii people in Kenya, the grassroots so to speak, the Centre for PROFS
at the University of Applied Sciences, Fulda, as well as the association
“Lebendige Kommunikation mit Frauen in ihren Kulturen” (Vivid Communication
with Women in their Cultures), also based in Fulda. A three-year programme
was initiated on-site in Kenya, where local teachers were trained to be
successful multiplicators. Seminars for clan elders, church leaders and
chiefs followed. Working together in full partnership and on equal
footing with the local people, the project was able to reduce the female
circumcision rate in the Mosocho region of 98% by 32%. 47 former
circumcisers were so convinced that they no longer work as such. More
than 4,000 uncircumcised girls were celebrated as full members of the
Kisii society in large celebrations. They have been spared the suffering
that their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers were forced
to endure. The realisation of their human rights has become reality. Our
further goal is to make this possible for more hundreds of girls. You can
find out more information on the web under www.fulda-mosocho-project.com
or by calling +49 (0) 661 – 65062 / Contact: Claudia Wegener.

Dr. Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe
Since 1979 a professor at the Fulda University of Applied Sciences in the
department of social sciences, with an emphasis on psychosocial counselling,
health promotion and for gender sciences. In 1985, moved by the third
World Women’s Conference in Nairobi, she, students and Kenyan
grassroots people founded the research and practice project “Women in
Kenya”, which since 1992 is part of the Center for PROFS. PROFS is
accredited with the UN and looks for innovative ways of bringing
developmental aid to help assist in the realisation of human rights.

The European Sacharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
has been awarded yearly by the European Parliament since 1988,
given to persons and projects working for human rights and freedom
of thought and expression and against oppression and injustice. It is
named after the Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Andrei Sacharov. The prize, endowed with 50,000 Euro, was awarded
to Nelson Mandela and played a role in his eventual release from prison.

Alexander Alvaro (FDP), Member of the European Parliament
Alexander Nuno Pickart Alvaro (31) is spokesperson for the ALDE faction,
representing civic freedoms, internal affairs and justice in the European
Parliament and chairman of the “Campaign for Parliament Reform”.
Since May 2003, Alvaro is a member of the board of directors of Germany’s
national political party FDP. The studied banker and lawyer with German
and Portuguese citizenship grew up in Australia and Germany. From
2000 to 2005 he was a member of the national board of the “Young
Liberals” (JuLis, FDP), most recently as acting national chairman. He
additionally is involved with Amnesty International, the German Animal
Protection Association and the Foundation for the Rights of Future
Generations. Find out more about Alexander Alvaro under www.alexander-
, press contact: Martina Rozok, Tel: +49 (0)30 4004468-1

Nils Oskamp, Comic Artist & Illustrator, Illustratoren Organisation e.V.
Born in Bochum in 1969, co-founder of the Illustrators Organisation e.V.
Diploma for Illustration and Graphic Design. Lecturer at the
Animation School Hamburg, as well as the Art Academy Leonardo,
Hamburg. Received the Hamburg Animation Award in 2003. Initiator
of the German Illustrator’s Newsletter. Published in the comic “Déjà Vu”,
published for the 20-year anniversary of the German-French Comic
Artists Seminar. He lives in Hamburg. More under www.oskamp.de

Marian Meinhardt-Schönfeld, Comic Artist & Illustrator,
Illustratoren Organisation e.V.
Born in 1970. Studied art in Dresden. One of the first rappers in
East Germany (Three M-Men). Graphic artists for the “Déjà Vu” book
and art director for Karstadt for years. At the start of the 1990s
was cartoonist for the “Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten” and
“Sächsische Zeitung”. Works as illustrator and comic artist in
Dresden. More under www.mamei.com

Illustratoren Organisation e.V.
German professional association of illustrators from the areas
of publishing, advertising, film and art. It represents the professional
interests of illustrators and works for the promotion of the art of
illustration. Founded in 2002, it has 350 members in German-speaking
countries. The free newsletter of the organisation has more than 1,000
subscribers around the world.
More under www.io-home.de

Nataly Brombach, Free-lance Copywriter & Author
Born in 1971, in 1996 after her intermediate exams in English
studies she switched to copywriting for advertising. Living in
Düsseldorf since 2003, she offers her writing services under
the name “LexxHexx – Die Texte-Hexe”. While her main area is
still advertising texts, she is working on getting more children’s
books published. More under www.LexxHexx.com

PDF-Datei (72kb)


German Website: www.weibliche-genitalverstuemmelung-ueberwinden.com

Mrs Prof. Dr. Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe
Celebrations 2004:
Prof. Dr. Muthgard
Hinkelmann- Toewe,
project initiator, in
conversation with
saved Kisii girls.

Visit from
MdEP Alexander Alvaro

MdEP Alvaro besucht das Projekt in Kenia

Link to the report

The Fulda-Mosocho-Project
is nominated for
the Sakharov-Prize 2006

The Sakharov-Prize

Read here

Celebrations 2005: certificates are presented to saved girls

In just four years over
4,000 girls have been
protected from
female genital circumcision.


Contact: Prof. Dr. Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe | Fulda-Mosocho-Projekt | Phone: +49661-65062
LebKom e. V. - Scharnhorststraße 11 - 36037 Fulda - Germany - Phone: +49661-64125 - Fax: +49661-6790091
Email : |

www.weibliche-genitalverstuemmelung-ueberwinden.com | www.fulda-mosocho-project.com