Grantee: Somali Family Safety Task Force
Timeframe: April 2023 – March 2024 | Amount: $30,000
The Somali community that the Task Force serves relies primarily on face- to- face interactions, community events, and workshops to receive accurate and trusted information form native Somali speakers. SFSTF will inform and communicate directly with the community through a series of facilitated conversations, guest panels, and listening sessions to address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). SFSTF will also inform area providers of specific health concerns of FGM by survivors, and coordinate with those providers to hold health screening and wellness check workshops. The workshops and activities will take place at trusted spaces in three communities that have high concentrations of Somali community members; New Holly, Rainier Vista and Tukwila.
Key Women’s Health Project Activities:
- Wellness Checks and Women’s Health Screenings: Task Force project staff led by the Executive Director Farhiya Mohamed will engage and recruit women from existing organizational programs to participate in a series of workshops and small group activities. Participants will learn about the importance of annual wellness checks and screenings as a key way to identify and prevent more serious health issues and medical conditions. Staff will co-design and organize a series of at least four workshops that informs and engages women in the importance of these preventative health-screening tools. Workshops will provide cultural food and will be conducted in Somali. Additionally, the workshops will be available via the Task Force’s social media in order to amplify reach across the region.
Staff will engage local Somali health professionals to participate in the informational workshops and smaller group conversations. In addition to offering the series of workshops, staff will work to partner with an area health provider or providers to hold wellness checks or health screenings onsite at the New Holly Gathering Hall in 2023 and 2024 if feasible. The New Holly Gathering Hall is a trusted community space that is opening and welcoming to the community.
The goals of the workshops and potential onsite wellness checks will be to:
- Gain a better understanding of the unique issues, hesitancy and barriers that many women in the Somali community have with utilizing wellness checks and screenings.
- Increase women’s understanding and knowledge of why screening and wellness checks are important for their immediate and long-term health.
- Provide health screenings at a trusted community space with Somali language health professionals.
The plan will be to have up to 20 women attend each workshop and an additional 20-50 women participating in community-based wellness checks or screenings at trusted community spaces.
- Small Group Meetings and Panels to Address FGM: Staff will develop a plan for holding small group conversations with women survivors of FGM from the Somali community that SFSTF serves. They will discuss the best way to get information about FGM and the Somali community to area medical, reproductive and mental health providers that regularly serve the community. Of particular concern, is how FGM affects mental health, trauma, PTSD, and potential complications with reproductive health and giving birth. This is a sensitive topic that has not been directly addressed by the community in the past. Staff will work closely with women engaged in SFSTF programs to finalize a final plan and strategy.
SFSTF’s goal is to co-design a final approach with women and to provide monthly small group conversations with 5-15 women survivors of FGM they serve.
- Women will gain a better understanding of the long-term mental and physical impacts of FGM
- Increase access to culturally relevant services
- Form a support group and network for women
- Provide for a meaningful and impactful engagement and education of local health, reproductive health and mental health providers on FGM and its impacts on women in the community.
About Our Grantee
The Somali Women’s Health Project (SFSTF) mission is to empower immigrant and refugee women and their families by providing culturally appropriate services that embody the core values of our community. SFSTF’s vision is a nation where refugees, immigrants, and communities of color have equal access to the American Dream.