Help FGM/C Survivors To Heal

My Story:
My name is Mariya. I am a social worker, a writer, a runner, a fan of Batman…and I am a survivor of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) who is asking for your help to end this harmful practice.

For the past decade, I have advocated against FGM/C by sharing my story, and by helping other women to share their own stories of undergoing FGM/C. My story has received attention from several media sources like NPR, USA Today, and ABC News (read Because I was Harmed on NPR Codeswitch).

Most people believe female genital cutting only exists in other parts of the world, not in the United States. But in April 2017, a Detroit doctor was arrested for performing FGM/C on two seven-year-old girls. This doctor belonged to the same religious sect I grew up in, and the case highlights that FGM/C does continue to affect women living in the United States, even though laws banning the practice do exist (watch American Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Speak Out ).

For too long, a silence on this form of violence has existed within this country.

We must break this silence.

How you can help:
In March 2017, StoryCenter led a digital storytelling workshop in conjunction with the Women’s Foundation of California to highlight the voices of women who participated in the Women’s Policy Institute. As an alumni of this program, I was invited to attend and share how I advocate to end FGM/C through storytelling. Watch my story here.

Now, I want to support other FGM/C survivors from my community to share stories of their experiences by participating in a special StoryCenter workshop for survivors.

I am calling on my family, friends, and community to help bring an end to the silence around FGM/C and the practice itself by donating to my campaign, which will allow 5-10 women to produce and share their stories publicly.

For centuries, women have been afraid to speak up because of a fear of being socially ostracized from their community, being labeled a victim, or getting their loved ones in trouble.

A StoryCenter workshop will allow women to come together in a supportive environment so they can heal, reclaim a piece of themselves that was lost when they underwent FGM/C, and help build a critical mass of voices against FGM/C, demonstrating that there is a growing trend to abandon this harmful practice.

As a writer who has loved words since she first learned how to read, I know how powerful stories are in creating change in the world. They spark our emotions and wake us up to our reality. Too often in everyday life, we try and connect with each other on a rational level, but this isn’t always enough to change behavior. People must be emotionally engaged to understand what you want them to do. StoryCenter’s digital storytelling platform will allow survivors to share their stories and directly engage with the broader community to stop FGM/C from happening to the next generation of girls.

Help me ensure the voices of women are heard. Donate today!

Any donation of $10, $15, $20, or $30 is greatly appreciated to make sharing these stories possible. Those who donate $50 or more will be acknowledged on my social media page. Those who donate $100 or more will receive a special credit at the end of the digital stories that are produced.

Thank you in advance for reading, sharing, and donating!

Gratitude and love,


Mariya Taher
Cambridge, MA

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