March 05 2014, category: Press Releases
LAS VEGAS, March 5 - With Clitoraid’s volunteer team still awaiting the license it needs to open its new medical center in Burkina Faso, a facility dedicated to providing free clitoral repair surgery for genitally mutilated women, American surgeons who volunteered for Clitoraid's first campaign there have already operated on 13 women, according to a statement released today by Clitoraid.

“A doctor friend offered us use of his own medical facility so we could proceed with helping the 80 women awaiting the free operations we promised," explained Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, president of Clitoraid and spokesperson for the International Raelian Movement (IRM). “We are deeply grateful to him!"

She said Clitoraid's partner in Burkina Faso, the women's association AVFE, was informed only 5 days ago that the opening of the hospital couldn't proceed on March 7 as initially planned.

“The same day, we were also told that the license refusal was due to lobbying by influential detractors, including people associated with the Catholic Church,” Boisselier said, adding that this information was later confirmed by a representative of the Catholic Church.

“That person told the BBC that Clitoraid can’t be seen as fit handle to handle such humanitarian work due to its affiliation with the Raelian Movement,” Boisselier said. “But nothing could be further from the truth. Our new hospital is the result of people of many faiths contributing time and money, including two American surgeons and a worldwide volunteer. For the Catholic Church to be giving lessons to the Raelian Movement about humanitarian endeavors is ludicrous. We won’t take lessons from those who have not only denied and tried to suppress most major scientific discoveries for centuries, but are also responsible today for thousands of unnecessary deaths, due to their policy of prohibiting condom use even for AIDS victims."

Clitoraid is a non-profit, U.S.- based humanitarian organization. It was founded in 2006 at the suggestion of Rael, spiritual leader of the IRM.

“His idea was to promote the clitoral repair surgery developed by a French surgeon and make it available free of charge to as many FGM victims as possible,” she said. "I find it outrageous that some misinformed people are denying Clitoraid the right to offer this great service when our hospital is ready to open its doors!"

She added that Clitoraid plans to open additional medical centers on the African continent to help women in many other countries. And she said she applauds other doctors offering the clitoral repair surgery.

"That is excellent news, for the more this clitoral repair surgery becomes available in FGM-affected areas, the better. “It's a powerful deterrent against doing the mutilation in the first place, for why do damage that can easily be undone?"
March 03 2014, category: Press Releases
LAS VEGAS, March 3 - According to a statement released today by the nonprofit organization Clitoraid, pressure from the Catholic Church and other detractors of the International Raelian Movement (IRM) has caused Burkina Faso's government to block the scheduled March 7 opening of Clitoraid’s clitoral repair hospital, known as the Kamkaso Hospital, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Nicknamed “the Pleasure Hospital, the Kamkaso facility is the first of its kind in the world.

“Although the government has suddenly withdrawn its approval for surgeries to be performed there, this facility, once open, will provide free surgery for victims of female genital mutilation,” said Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, president of Clitoraid and spokesperson for the IRM. “The procedure repairs the physical damage they endured. But this wonderful mission has now been stymied by the Catholic Church and its cronies, who are conducting a smear campaign against it for their own selfish motives.”

Boisselier said Clitoraid will seek immediate legal redress through the courts.

“In the meantime, the surgeries we had scheduled will still take place over the next few weeks, at another hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso,” she said. “We’re going ahead as planned.”

She went on to describe why the Kamkaso Hospital will not open on March 7.

“Although the request for licensure of the new hospital was submitted in 2011 and we received

repeated assurances from regional and national officials that the hospital could open on March 7, the health minister of Burkina Faso has explained to a representative of AVFE, our local Clitoraid partner, that the license will not be approved for our scheduled inauguration date of March 7,” Boisselier explained. “Nevertheless, we will go ahead with our inauguration ceremony as planned. And our surgical team will still operate on the patients scheduled for the procedure, but that will take place at another hospital."
She said that an official source who requested anonymity told her that strong pressure from IRM detractors, especially the Catholic Church, was responsible for both the license refusal and the cancellation of the First Lady of Burkina Faso’s participation in the opening ceremony.

“By seeking to prevent our opening, the Catholic Church has become an accomplice of the criminals who mutilate the genitals of African women,” Boisselier declared. “Along with its mission of restoring mutilated clitorises for FGM victims, Clitoraid’s Pleasure Hospital will be a strong deterrent to those who still practice this barbaric custom. They would stop making the excisions since it’s foolish to destroy something that can be readily restored.”

Boisselier said this stance taken by the Catholic Church against Clitoraid is hardly a surprise, given the Vatican’s record.

“Those blocking our opening are the same criminals who support pedophile priests and money laundering by Vatican banks,” she said. “And their directives against using condoms are responsible for thousands of unnecessary AIDS deaths in Africa.”

Boisselier said Clitoraid will take prompt legal action to open the hospital.

“This pressure to close us down will only delay the opening,” she said. “Our attorneys are already looking into various legal options and there will also be worldwide protests in front of Burkina Faso’s embassies.”

As evidence of the pressures brought by the Catholic Church, Boisselier cited the following declaration made against the Kamkaso Hospital by Professor R. Marie Charlemagne Ouedraogo, a Knight of the French Legion of Honor and Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a well-known branch of the Catholic Church.

“This is a big campaign of fraud organized by the sect of Rael with the complicity of certain doctors of Burkina Faso! The health ministry and the governor are beseeched to stop this poisonous campaign! Also, the complicit doctors will have to appear before the medical board very soon!"

"How can a doctor who performs these surgeries himself at very high cost to his patients accuse us of a fraudulent campaign when his rates are way too high for the poor women who planned to come to the Kamkaso hospital?” Boisselier asked. “What is the real fraud here? Clitoraid offers free surgeries performed by competent volunteer doctors, and they follow a procedure that has been published officially by its originator, Dr. Pierre Foldes of France. It has already been performed on thousands of women.”

Boisselier went on to elaborate about what she considers the real reason for the smear campaign against Clitoraid and the Kamkaso hospital.

“The real reason for this delay in the hospital opening is clearly linked to the fact that this purely humanitarian project was initiated by Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement,” she said. “The people putting pressure against this hospital prefer to pursue a pseudo-philosophical vendetta for their own profit instead of thinking of the 80 women who will be in Bobo-Dioulasso to have their free surgery between March 3 and March 14.”

According to Boisselier, the surgeries will be done at the hospital of a doctor friend who will host Clitoraid's medical team.

“Our surgeons are licensed to perform surgeries in Burkina Faso,” she pointed out. "The people responsible for these pressures against us should be ashamed. The Kamkaso hospital is the collective effort of thousands of people of various philosophical backgrounds. They have all contributed to restore the pleasure of life to thousands of women who experienced deep trauma. To prevent them from receiving this voluntary and free help simply because the people offering it don't believe in their god is outrageous. But this campaign against us is perfectly aligned with other misdeeds of the Catholic Church, which teaches that suffering is a source of awakening and ultimate spirituality.”

Boisselier explained that for Raelians, pleasure is the most beautiful source of fulfillment.

“We will continue doing our best to help FGM victims get their dignity back as women and enjoy their right to enjoy physical pleasure and fulfillment,” she said.

The building inauguration ceremony will be held at Clitoraid’s Kamkaso Hospital on March 7 starting at 10 a.m. A press conference will follow.
February 27 2014, category: Press Releases
On Sunday, February 23, around one hundred people gathered for this heartfelt appeal; an intimate conversation on a topic still taboo for some, while almost unknown for many others. The topic was FGM and was brilliantly introduced to us in all its facets, first by Habibata who shared her personal story and how she lived the atrocity of this experience in her flesh as a little girl, a story so visceral that even if words were sometimes not easy to express they did not fail to leave the audience moved to tears on several occasions.

But the excision itself is not just about the infliction of a serious injury to the body. There is also a huge cloud of obscurantism surrounding this practice that can only be described as barbaric the moment we take a short step outside the confines of this tradition. Dr. Samantha Dubray followed with a tour de force presentation on human sexuality and how excision relates to it from a psychological and sexological perspective with an emphasis on how it is now possible for excised women to recover a sense of dignity and psychological stability by going through a procedure that enables them to be whole again for the first time in adulthood.

Indeed, despite the horror described throughout this conference, we were invited first and foremost to celebrate the science that has allowed the development of a minor surgical procedure that gives excised women the opportunity to regain their complete physical integrity. This is what Dr. Harold Henning, the third speaker, explained in detail. He is part of Clitoraid’s team of volunteer surgeons which has already begun to offer this genital surgical reconstruction procedure. Indeed, Dr. Henning will also take part in the official grand opening of the Pleasure Hospital, on March 7 in Burkina Faso, where he plans to operate on five patients every day, while teaching the procedure to local surgeons who will then take over in the wake of this revolutionary scientific breakthrough.

This intimate conference left us equally educated and moved while bringing a hopeful note that this tradition will soon be relegated to the past misunderstandings and mistakes of our ancestors. That is why Maitreya Rael launched the idea of creating Clitoraid and seized on the opportunity presented by this surgical technique to repair this humiliation committed on women and make ineffective and obsolete the tradition of female circumcision.

Furthermore, the Q&A session touched us all to the highest degree when we heard these courageous women in the audience come to us to share their intimate stories, questioning us, expressing their concerns, their suffering, while revealing to us the degree of ignorance and taboo that still surrounds this practice. This was particularly evident when a young woman told us that she didn’t know if she was circumcised.

There is no doubt that we are still a long ways away before a major consciousness shift takes place on a massive scale and before mentalities change, but this first symposium has definitely set the tone by putting forth a revolutionary solution that will give many other women like Habibata the courage to say, "No to excision," as the opening song told us so rightly.







February 08 2014, category: Press Releases
LAS VEGAS, Feb. 10 - The world’s first clitoral repair hospital for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), located in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, will open on March 7, according to a statement released today by the U.S.-based, nonprofit organization Clitoraid. Chantal Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso, will preside at the ceremony.

The hospital was built with donated funds and through the efforts of worldwide volunteers.

“Having Chantal Compaore support and presence on March 7 is such a wonderful way to celebrate this opening!” said Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary. “She has been a steadfast voice against the horrors of FGM, and we’re honored that she will be there.”
Gary said hundreds of women are already on Clitoraid’s waiting list to have the surgery, which will be free for any woman who wants it.

“Their wait is almost over,” Gary said. She said the new facility, called “the Kamkaso,” which means “the house for women,” has been nicknamed “the Pleasure Hospital,” since the surgery “will restore their dignity as women as well as their ability to experience physical pleasure, which was taken from them against their will.”

Gary went on to explain how the idea of the hospital came about.

“After spiritual leader Maitreya Rael heard about a clitoral repair procedure developed by a French surgeon, he launched Clitoraid and the idea of building clinics that offer free surgery for FGM victims. After the United Nations adopted a resolution banning FGM, there’s been universal agreement that it’s a violation of human rights and the integrity of individuals. And eliminating FGM is essential for women’s health, so governments must keep passing laws against it. But Rael realized that it’s also important to repair the damage already caused to living victims. This hospital is the result of his vision.”

Gary said Clitoraid volunteer surgeons from the United States, Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., and Dr. Harold Henning Jr., M.D., will perform surgeries at the new hospital and also train other surgeons to do it.

“The goal is to help as many victims as possible have this surgery, which will also help discourage the barbaric practice of FGM,” Gary said. “When its effects can be surgically reversed for free, what would be the point?”






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