In 2005 Ann-Marie Wilson was working for an international aid organisation in West Darfur, Sudan when she first came across female genital mutilation (FGM). She met an 11 year girl in a refugee camp who had had FGM aged 5. When the girl was 10 her village was attacked, her family killed and she was raped. She survived the rape but was left alone and pregnant. After months of hardship the girl was found struggling with obstructed labour as a result of the FGM by aid workers. Fortunately they were able to get her to a medical centre and thanks to the skill of the doctors and nurses both the young mother and her baby survived.
Ann-Marie was so moved by this girl’s story that she wanted to find out more about FGM and what could be done to prevent it happening to other girls. During 5 years of training and research Ann-Marie discovered the horrifying extent and implications of FGM. She also learnt that despite the brave work of anti-FGM campaigners in some countries there was little or no support for women who had undergone FGM and no effective programmes to eradicate the practice and protect future generations of girls. Therefore Ann-Marie founded 28 Too Many in 2010 to research FGM in the 28 African countries where it is practised and to encourage and support local interventions to support those affected and accelerate the eradication of this harmful practice.
See our Timeline of Key Events to learn more about our achievements since 2010.