Mama Telema’ means ‘Mothers Stand up!’ in Lingala, a language spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project was the vision of four women who have settled in Cardiff, Wales, and who recognized the complex difficulties for women arriving in the UK.
‘Mama Telema!’ knew that for women within the Congolese community, talking openly about FGM and sexuality was taboo. These women were also often hard to contact, and living socially isolated lives. ‘Mama Telema!’ started by recruiting women within their own social networks, gaining trust and creating safe spaces where women’s issues and FGM could be discussed.
With funding from Rosa, they decided to run a series of workshops inviting expert speakers to talk about FGM in other communities, including specialists on mental and maternal health.
A major achievement of the project was that women in their community gained greater awareness and confidence in the support that they could access in addressing violence against them, or their daughters.