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Hundreds of Plaistow students hold 'protest walk' against female genital mutilation

PUBLISHED: 15:26 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:32 16 March 2017

The march by students and teachers took place in the school grounds before finishing at the front of the college in Prince Regent Lane. Picture: NewVIc College

The march by students and teachers took place in the school grounds before finishing at the front of the college in Prince Regent Lane. Picture: NewVIc College

NewVIC college

Nearly 500 NewVIc pupils have participated in a school-organised demonstration against female genital mutilation (FGM).

Students Asiya Rouabhi, 18, and Shuhina Haque, 17, campaign against FGM. Picture: NewVIc CollegeStudents Asiya Rouabhi, 18, and Shuhina Haque, 17, campaign against FGM. Picture: NewVIc College

Students of both sexes held placards and posters as they marched around the grounds of the Plaistow sixth form college with teachers yesterday to raise awareness of the illegal practice.

The peaceful “protest walk” was organised in conjunction with charity Forward (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) and formed part of a college campaign day funded by the Department for Education (DfE).

Pupil Haadiyah Vaid said: “After weeks of planning and mammoth painting tasks, the FGM campaign was a massive success.

“It was fantastic to be involved in the campaign. We all pulled together to raise awareness about FGM because women and girls need to be protected from FGM at all costs”.

Approximately 60 Health and Social Care and CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) pupils acted as ambassadors on the day while others raised money for Forward by selling homemade cupcakes and badges.

Health and social care teacher Emma Wood, who managed the campaign, said she felt “proud” of the students and teachers who took part.

She said: “We are determined to increase the visibility of the issue and dispel the myths that are keeping this barbaric practice alive.

“Today has been the highlight of my career. All of the staff and students said how rewarding and enjoyable it was”.

An estimated 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales, according to the NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).

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