Aissata M.B. Camara

Aissata M.B. Camara - 2019 Nominee
Position: Co-founder, Advisor
Organization: There Is No Limit Foundation
Current Location: United States, North America
Master of Public Administration (MPA), International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Social Policy, City University of New York-Baruch College
75 Public Votes Reached!
A survivor of female genital mutilation, she’s a leading voice linking FGM to reproductive health outcomes through the Break The Silence Campaign. She also promotes maternal health in Guinea through Maï Health for All. Her goal is to better the world – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Through the Break The Silence Campaign, I’ve worked with our local team to train over 6,000 community members on the dangers of the practice. I also led media campaigns on TV and radio stations reaching more than 10 million people. TINLF has also worked with Guinean musicians to create an anti-FGM song; the launch of the song resulted in over 10,000 views in 24 hours on YouTube. Through the Maï Health for All Project, we also worked to promote maternal health in Guinea. I led TINLF’s response to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. Working with the First Lady, TINLF distributed nearly $500,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment to hospitals, including maternity wards. My story and work was recently featured in Deutsche Welle (DW) documentary “Digital Warriors.”

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I believe women/girls should have the right to make choices about their health. A few years ago, my nephew’s mother, Maï, passed away while giving birth to twins. This was really hard on all of us because she was very young. I knew her death was a result of a weak health system—a system where women’s reproductive health was not a priority. I honor her memory by raising awareness and providing access. As a survivor of FGM, I also want to protect other girls from the experiences I've had.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I show leadership every time I go into a community and engage stakeholders (women, youth, men, religious leaders, etc.) on these issues. Talking about women/girls bodies in these communities is seen as a taboo. Yet, I am changing social norms. There are more people joining my movement and breaking their silence. I believe we must bring these issues to light to see change. I am proud to help local members lead this work.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

My goal is to break the silence and promote women and girls’ rights to reproductive health in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. As a winner, I will use this platform to amplify successes and challenges I see in the communities I serve. I will use the fund to purchase a high-quality camera so I can do short films/photo series--people act when they feel. I want to connect with other winners to develop a network to share best practices and collaborate on simple solutions.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
Aissata M.B. Camara doing outreach to end FGM and promote women/girls rights to their bodies Aissata M.B. Camara doing outreach to end FGM and promote women/girls rights to their bodies Aissata M.B. Camara advocating at the United Nations Headquarters

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