It hardly feels like it has been four months since the beginning of the year, and yet so much has happened, both on the world stage and at AHA Foundation.
In March, we released our 9th survivors’ legal guide. This guide was developed for those at risk of or who have suffered from FGM in Massachusetts—you can find it here. We also hosted our first in-person anti-FGM training in Chicago, funded by the federal grant AHA Foundation won last year (you can read an update on the March training here and find out more about the legal guides here).
Later this month and next month, my friend and fellow free speech campaigner Peter Boghossian is visiting U.S. college campuses with AHA Foundation’s Critical Thinking Fellowship (CTF). He hopes to inspire free thought and critical thinking among college students. Find out more about and sign up for his April 16 event here. On April 29, I will be participating in a CTF webinar moderated by Yasmine Mohammed, where I will discuss why it is so hard to talk about Muslim women’s rights on college campuses with some of our student fellows. You can sign up for that webinar here. I hope to see you there.
In the AHA Foundation blog this month, we continue to amplify the voices of survivors and advocates. Last month, we shared the first part of Sasha Taylor’s extraordinary and inspiring story; U.S. legislation did not protect her when, at just 15, she was forced to marry a stranger. But she survived and now works to protect other girls by speaking out against the dangers they face, whether from their own communities or from traffickers who exploit federal immigration law. You can read her second blog here.
Also this month, another child marriage survivor and advocate from the U.S., Aliya Abbas, shares her story of oppression and resistance. She, too, calls on all of us to take action to end this abuse. You can read Aliya’s blog here.
With 44 states still allowing child marriage, it sometimes feels like the fight is unwinnable. But when I read the words of women like Sasha and Aliya, I feel inspired all over again. I know that, with the bravery and determination of women like them, the day will come when all girls and women in the U.S. are protected from this hideous practice.
If you feel inspired by the words of Sasha and Aliya, as I do, please consider supporting AHA Foundation. One of our generous donors, Bill Miller, has pledged $15,000 in matching-gift funds in honor of our 15th anniversary year. This means you can now DOUBLE your impact by giving today.
Many thanks to supporters who have already sent a gift to unlock these matching funds.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder