Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $300,000)
The African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) is a non-profit organization that provides services to refugees and immigrants from African and Caribbean countries in the Metro Philadelphia Area, particularly those who currently reside in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia County is considered both a high-poverty area and a persistent-poverty county. AFAHO currently serves approximately 2,000 unduplicated individuals from the target community, representing 26 different African and Caribbean countries. Given the high number of refugees and immigrants from countries that culturally practice female genital cutting (FGC), the Metro Philadelphia Area is home to many women and girls who have experienced or are at-risk of FGC. Out of all Metropolitan areas in the United States, Philadelphia ranks eighth with 16,417 women and girls at risk of FGC. The Responsive Education - Solutions Promoting the End of Cutting Traditions (RESPECT) Program will serve this geographical area targeting women and girls who are victims or at risk of FGC.
For the RESPECT program, AFAHO’s primary program activities will include direct services to victims of FGC and those at risk, community outreach, and education to clinical and non-clinical providers on culturally sensitive practices related to FGC. AFAHO is requesting the full amount of $300,000 over 36 months. Given the lack of medical services in the identified geographical area, this program will use funds to support staff at AFAHO’s clinic that will provide culturally specific services to women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of FGC. The RESPECTprogram aims to provide outreach to over 1,400 potential victims of FGC and provide workshops to 200 women and girls. The RESPECT program aims to provide direct services in AFAHO’s clinic to at least 200 women and girls who have experienced FGC, with 100 beneficiaries being referred to other clinical and non-clinical providers that have received cultural sensitivity training through the RESPECT Program. This program will offer support groups for both women and girls and provide community education on the health implications of practicing FGC. In addition, the RESPECT program will provide training on culturally sensitive practices related to FGC to external clinical providers that serve victims of FGC and provide training in the harmful health consequences of FGC to community and religious leaders that have influence with the communities of FGC survivors or those at risk. Deliverables will include: direct service provision to survivors/victims, at-risk individuals, and communities; community outreach; and a final report.