The foundation is the result of a study by Dr. Adriana Kaplan on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in countries of immigrant origin and destination. The original project was conceived as an anthropological, humanistic and innovative study to share scientific knowledge and the experience obtained on the ground in Africa in order to prevent FGM in a sustainable and respectful manner.
The Wassu UAB Foundationwas set up in 2012 and carries out activities in Gambia, Kenya and Tanzania. Here are some of them:
- Alignment of the different agents involved with representatives of local institutions to establish joint actions
- Research and knowledge transfer in relation to FGM in Africa and the rest of the world
- Training and the production of handbooks on the effects of FGM
- Publication and dissemination of socio-educational material
A result of these methods and techniques dialogue has been opened up in Gambia and around the world. One of the main achievements of the foundation was the Conference on Traditional Harmful Practices in 2009 with more than 200 delegates from Africa and Europe, political and religious representatives from Gambia and international agencies such as the WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF, and which concluded with the signing of the Brufut Declaration.
In parallel, Gambia has become the first African country to include FGM in the academic syllabus for medical students in school and university health centres. Finally, in 2011 an agreement was drawn up with the Gambian Ministry for Health and Social Welfare and agencies of the United Nations (UNICEF and the WHO) for a National Training Programme for Health Professionals on FGM. This commitment will enable the involvement later on of universities in Kenya and Tanzania on the signing of collaboration agreements.
The same year in Mauritania the National Nuakchot Conference took place. Two clinical studies undertaken by the WASSU Foundation were presented to the Supreme Islamic Council of Gambia and Imams and Ulemas of Western Africa. The meeting concluded with the signing of a fatwa which recognised FGM as a harmful practice.
The WASSU UAB Foundation: member of the FGM Steering Committee at the WHO
At a meeting of experts in Female Genital Mutilation organisation by the World Health Organisation in 2014 in Geneva, the president of the Wassu UAB Foundation, Dr. Adriana Kaplan, took part in the establishment of strategic lines of research form the FGM Working Group "WHO Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C) Steering Committee".
Projects and programmes funded by international organisations
The WASSU Foundation has work as part of the Multisectorial Academic Programme for the Prevention and Fight against Female Genital Mutilation (MAP-FGM) on the publication of a Multisectorial Guide for Academic Training on FGM which promotes and facilitates the incorporation of this subject in Bachelor’s degrees and postgraduate degrees in medicine, nursing, education, psychology, social work, law, anthropology, international cooperation, gender and feminism studies, communication and journalism.