Desert Flower MAGAZINE

desertflowerfoundation

As a supermodel, Waris Dirie worked for Chanel, L'Oreal, Revlon, Versace, Cartier, Levi's and many other top brands. Her best-selling book Desert Flower, which tells her life story, sold over 12 million copies, was successfully filmed and is currently thrilling as a musical on stage.
Waris Dirie finds her true passion as a human rights activist. With the Desert Flower Foundation, she has been fighting for women's rights and against the brutal ritual of female genital mutilation (FGM) for years. A barbaric torture that she had to experience on her own body as a little girl. But FGM is a worldwide problem that affects millions of girls and women.
The Desert Flower Foundation's work ranges from sponsoring over thousands of girls rescued from FGM to building Desert Flower Schools in Africa. Waris is convinced: education for girls is the only and strongest weapon in the fight against FGM!
Read the new Desert Flower MAGAZINE now and learn more about Waris Dirie's mission, campaigns and successes. Flip through a modern, highly informative e-Paper!

DESERT FLOWER

MAGAZINE

Editorial

Dear Desert Flower Family,

dear Supporters!

When we founded the Desert Flower Foundation in 2002, only a few people

knew about female genital mutilation (FGM). By 2020, the whole world will know

about this cruel crime against innocent little girls and women.

In 2002 only four African countries had a law against female genital mutilation.

In 2020, only four African countries have NO law against female genital

mutilation. As of 2002, the prevalence rate of FGM among girls under 14 years

was still 71.4 percent in East Africa and as high as 73.6 percent in West Africa.

According to the renowned British Medical Journal, the prevalence rate of FGM

among girls under 14 years of age in 2020 is estimated to be 8 percent in East

Africa and 25.3 percent in West Africa.

We launched our sponsorship project "Save a Little Desert Flower" in 2014, and

since then we have been able to protect 1,207 girls from FGM in Sierra Leone in

West Africa alone and to provide them with an education.

In 2019 and 2020, we built three Desert Flower Schools in Sierra Leone for a

total of 1,200 children. As Nelson Mandela said: "Education is the most powerful

weapon you can use to change the world.” We take Nelson Mandela at his word.

In my opinion, education is the only effective method to eradicate FGM once and

for all!

We have already achieved a lot together, but we have not yet won the battle.

We still want to achieve:

The total eradication of FGM worldwide!

School education for all children in Africa!

Sex education in all schools in Africa!

The social equality of men and women in Africa!

Competent, holistic treatment for women affected by FGM in all hospitals!

Giving up is not an option for me. Never!

Love & Peace,

Waris Dirie

You are holding THE MAGAZINE of the Desert Flower Foundation in your hands.

With the current issue, we would like to give you an overview of our work,

projects and campaigns, but at the same time, we would like to raise your awareness

for our fight against FGM. Take a look at our Desert Flower Magazine and

enjoy the wonderful successes we have already achieved thanks to your great

support!

IMPRINT

Holder:

Desert Flower Media GmbH,

Ungargasse 24/6, A-1030 Wien

E-Mail:

office@desertflowerfoundation.org

Website:

www.desertflowerfoundation.org

Management:

Walter Lutschinger

Editors:

Walter Unterweger (Editor-in-Chief),

David Lutschinger,

Joanna Jasik

Photographers:

Rankin,

Lisi Niesner,

Andreas J. Etter,

Andoni Lopez,

Anna-Tina Eberhard

Production & Layout:

TNT

Picture editing:

Arbër Kolonja

Publication: According to § 25 Mediengesetz

desertflowerfoundation.org/Offenlegung.

The Desert Flower Magazine reports on the

international projects, campaigns and activities

of the Desert Flower Foundation.

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Install the selected App on

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Scan the QR code with the camera

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?

?

?

Success: Education

4

instead of Circumcision

How the construction of our

Werner Holzer School stopped the

cruel practice of FGM in Allen Town.

Charlie Chaplins Grand-

8

daughter Opens School

Model & actress Kiera Chaplin

takes over patronage of our

Desert Flower School.

14

She moved millions of viewers to

tears in "Desert Flower" and was initial

spark for a sponsorship project.

Safa and her Wonderful

Rescue of FGM

16

In Sierra Leone we have saved

1,000 girls from FGM. But we want

to achieve much more.

New Campaign: Now

we Save 8,000 Girls

?

Contents

What a Wonderful

6

Mother's Day Gift

Rotary-Club Heidenheim-Giengen

finances with charity event

another school in Sierra Leone.

One Million Desert Flower

12

Education Boxes for Africa

Education offensive: Distribution

of our education boxes brings

smiles to children's faces.

The cover:

The cover shows Waris Dirie, human rights activist and

founder of the Desert Flower Foundation, photographed by

British star photographer Rankin. In the background are

portraits of some of the sponsored girls whom we saved

from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The empty spaces

symbolise free places for more Desert Flowers.

18 to Wüstenblume

Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen on the

secret to success and composing the

musical Wüstenblume.

From "99 Luftballons"

20 for FGM Victims

First holistic care for women

affected by FGM; Dr. Cornelia Strunz

gives them back quality of life.

Desert Flower Center

22

A Catholic Priest

Father Peter Konteh on directing the

Desert Flower Foundation Africa, and

managing schools in Sierra Leone.

Fights against FGM

24 Star Photographer

Cooperation with the luxury lingerie

label Coco de Mer is making headlines,

plus interview with Rankin.

Top Campaign with

26

Waris Dirie collaborates with Mey

and Vivobarefoot and supports

women in Ethiopia.

Initiative: Together

for African women

28

After book and film, now on stage

with a new musical, Wüstenblume,

encourages girls and women.

Standing Ovation for

Musical Wüstenblume

30

How supermodel Waris Dirie uses

fame and publicity for her

worldwide fight against FGM.

Celebrity Supporters:

Politics, Business, Showbiz

2 3


DESERT FLOWER

EDUCATION

WERNER HOLZER SCHOOL

The Success Story:

Education Stops FGM

A flagship project. How our

school construction in Sierra Leone

led to a complete rethink in the community.

Werner Holzer children, we are

the best of all!", chant 400

children along the balustrade

of the new school building. The

lead singer is Michael Bangura,

who uses a megaphone to keep

the kids performing at their best.

He is also the one who manages

the supervision of the construction

of the second Desert Flower

School in Allen Town - it is called

the Werner Holzer School.

In honour. The story behind it

all: Waris Dirie met German top

manager Philip Holzer during

a keynote speech to business

leaders in Berlin. He worked for

22 years in a leading position at

the multinational investment

bank Goldman Sachs and is head

of the supervisory board of the

German Bundesliga football club

Eintracht Frankfurt. Philip Holzer

was so enthusiastic about

the work of the Foundation that

he spontaneously financed the

construction of a school in Sierra

Leone, West Africa. The only requirement:

The school should be

named in honour of his father.

Werner Holzer (†2016) was

editor-in-chief of the Frankfurter

Rundschau and one of the

most prominent journalists in

Germany. The black continent

and its people were always very

Since the

school was

founded,

FGM has

decreased

in the

community!

Michael Bangura,

Werner Holzer school

close to his heart, he was one

of the most renowned German

experts on Africa.

Gratitude. "We are very grateful

to the Holzer family. Since

the school was founded, many

things have changed for the

better in our community", Michael

Bangura says. "The majority of

the people here can neither read

nor write. Through the school

project and the educational work

in the run-up to the school, the

people have accepted that the

Desert Flower Foundation fights

against FGM and in return supports

girls in their education."

Then a smile flits across his

friendly face. In the background,

the children once again cheer:

"Werner Holzer children, we are

the best of all!"

The youngest

students in their new

school uniforms..

These girls are very happy about their new school in Allen Town.

Our new

Werner Holzer school

in Allen Town,

Sierra Leone.

PHILIP HOLZER

ABOUT HIS MOTIVES:

"Africa

was very

dear to my father"

Interview on sustainability, school education

instead of mutilation and the hope for imitation.

Desert Flower Foundation:

How did the

idea of naming the

school in Allen Town

after your father

Werner Holzer come

about?

»Philip Holzer: The

naming gave me and

my family the unique

opportunity to honour

my father's achievements

as an Africa

expert, which I am

very happy about.

The black continent

and its people were very close to

my father's heart. I am sure that he

would have willingly supported the

project in order to contribute to the

improvement of the African conditions,

which he has been involved in

for decades.

Desert Flower Foundation: How important

is it to you to provide sustainable

support?

»Philip Holzer: The Desert Flower

Foundation uses education as a

central medium in its fight against

genital mutilation. I am convinced

that education is the key to giving

children and young people in Africa

a perspective and a better future.

Especially in such a project like

Top manager Philip Holzer

financed our school.

Name giver

of the school:

Werner Holzer.

the construction of a

school, it is important

to ensure that it will

continue to operate for

many years, so that the

population does not fall

back into old habits. I

usually accompany my

projects on a long-term

basis in order to see

how the investments

made really pay off.

Desert Flower Foundation:

Do you hope

that your project will

also make its mark in

other communities?

»Philip Holzer: The response to the

project in the region around the

Werner Holzer School is outstanding.

It would be nice if the approach

"school education instead of genital

mutilation" would find resonance in

other communities in Sierra Leone.

Desert Flower Foundation/Lisi Niesner, privat

You can donate here!

With a general

donation you

support our

educational projects

for children in Africa.

4 5


DESERT FLOWER

EDUCATION

The building shell is in place, the roof is also

finished. The main block will house a total of

six classrooms.

A Desert Flower

School for Mother's Day

Strong

signal.

With the net

proceeds of

a memorable

charity event

on Mother's

Day 2019, the

third Desert

Flower school

will be realized

in Sierra

Leone.

6

ROTARY CLUB HEIDENHEIM

he story begins in "Heidenheim

an der Brenz" in the

T

eastern part of Baden-Württemberg,

Germany, and finds a happy

ending in Tombo, a fishing village

on the Atlantic coast in Sierra

Leone, West Africa.

It's May 12th, 2019 - Mother's

Day! A very special day for Waris

Dirie and the Desert Flower

family. When she enters the

stage in the ballroom of the

Congress Centre, thunderous

applause breaks out. Young

people from the New Chamber

Choir of the Schiller-Gymnasium

Heidenheim have lined up in

the background. The choir had

prepared the guests for the

evening with an impressive performance.

Waris joins with Father

Peter Konteh the young people

and they start dancing together.

Tonight, there is plenty to celebrate.

Fundraising event. The Rotary

Club Heidenbeim-Giengen has

collected more than 50,000

euros for the Desert Flower

A MEMORABLE EVENING

Cheers for Waris Dirie

at Benefit Event

This lovely snapshot was

taken before the Coronavirus

crisis: Young people from

the New Chamber Choir of the

Schiller-Gymnasium Heidenheim

(GER) surround Waris

Dirie on the festival stage and

stretch out their hands to her

with enthusiasm.

A very special moment at

the Desert Flower Foundation

benefit event organized by the

Heidenheim-Giengen Rotary

Club.

Rotary-Club Heidenheim-Giengen, Desert Flower Foundation/Lisi Niesner, privat

Foundation with its fundraising

event. Thanks to this support by

the Rotarians it was possible to

build another school for 400

children in Sierra Leone: the

Rotary Club Heidenheim Desert

Flower school in Tombo.

Major education offensive. It is the

third school project implemented

by the Desert Flower Foundation

as part of the major educational

initiative for Africa's children in

Sierra Leone. Tombo is located

50 kilometres southeast of the

capital Freetown. The life of the

people there is characterised by

the daily fight against hunger and

poverty. The majority of them

can neither read nor write.

As in the other two locations of

the Desert Flower schools, sensitive

awareness raising work had

been carried out among the population.

In Tombo, too, the community

finally had to commit itself

to prohibiting female genital

mutilation (FGM) and the forced

marriage of children. The Desert

Flower Foundation requires any

We

want to

improve

the living

conditions

of women

on site!

Hans-Günter Sturm,

Rotary Club Heidenheim

community we support to commit

to these practices.

Retraining of circumcisers. The

Desert Flower Foundation does

not leave the circumcisers who

have earned their living from

this cruel work to their fate.

Retraining programmes designed

to provide the women with a new

source of income come into effect

when the new Rotary Club

Heidenheim-Giengen School is

opened.

The ground-breaking ceremony in Tombo. The future students of

the new school stand by.

INTERVIEW:

"Our aim is

to provide

sustainable

help"

Desert Flower Foundation:

How did support

for the Desert

Flower Foundation

come about?

»Hans-Günter Sturm:

For 10 years now, our

Rotary Club with the

New Chamber Choir

Heidenheim has been

organising a benefit

concert once a year. For the concert

on Mother's Day 2019 we wanted

to present a fundraising project for

mothers and came across female

genital mutilation. After a short

research we were convinced that

Waris Dirie and her foundation was

exactly the organisation we were

looking for to support.

Desert Flower Foundation: A basic

requirement for the construction

of the school was that the

community end FGM. Do you

hope to set an example for other

communities?

»Hans-Günter Sturm: Yes, we had

made our donation dependent on

the condition that the community

commits itself to ending FGM and

that this commitment is monitored

locally by the foundation. This is

the only way to achieve our goal of

sustainability, which will improve

the living conditions of the women

in Tombo.

Hans-Günter Sturm

from the Rotary Club

Heidenheim-Giengen.

Donate education!

With a general

donation, you

support our

educational projects

for Africa's children.

7


DESERT FLOWER

EDUCATION

Kiera Chaplin in front of the painting of her

famous grandfather (left) and in

front of the newly opened

Desert Flower school.

Kiera surrounded

by students of the

Kiera Chaplin

Desert Flower

School.

KIERA CHAPLIN IN SIERRA LEONE

Charlie Chaplin's

Granddaughter

Opens our School

Kiera Chaplin helps the poorest of the poor. The granddaughter of

Charlie Chaplin is the patron of our Desert Flower school for 400 students.

January 10th, 2020 will be

forever linked to the story

of the Desert Flower Foundation.

This Friday, the whole

community of River Number

2 in Sierra Leone, West Africa,

was on its feet. The opening of

the first Kiera Chaplin Desert

Flower School, 30 kilometers

south of the capital Freetown,

turned into a big party. A very

memorable highlight of the festive

ceremony: Female circumcisers

of the community laid down

their brutal work in a ritual.

FGM stopped. The crime of female

genital mutilation (FGM)

on little girls was history in

River Number 2. This was one

of the main requirements for

the Desert Flower Foundation

to build and open the school

there. From now on, 400 children,

most of whom had previously

worked in a quarry, will have the

opportunity to receive an

school education. Education is

the key to ending FGM in Africa.

The Desert Flower Foundation

was able to win over a

prominent fellow campaigner for

the first Desert Flower school in

Sierra Leone. Kiera Chaplin,

model, actress, singer and granddaughter

of the unforgettable

Charlie Chaplin and great-granddaughter

of Nobel Prize winner for

literature, Eugene O'Neill, has

taken on the patronage of the

school. She met Waris Dirie at

8 9


DESERT FLOWER

EDUCATION

Girls in the

official school

uniform of the

Kiera Chaplin

Desert Flower

School.

Dance performance of students

at the festive opening

ceremony.

The students march into the grounds of

the new Desert Flower school.

an event in Berlin. "It was through

Waris that I really became aware

of the extreme poverty and great

injustice that prevails in Africa.

I did not have to think long

before I decided to get involved

with the Desert Flower Foundation,"

Kiera remembers.

New life task. In this function

and as president of the Fondation

Fleur du Désert, the Desert

Flower Foundation in France, Kiera

Chaplin will be increasingly

involved in our charity work. She

has found a new passion.

"It is our duty to help

those who are less fortunate than

us", says Kiera. "It was a very

touching moment when I was

finally able to fulfil my dream

of a better world by opening

this school in Sierra Leone. The

children who live there now

have a perspective and can get

a school education. Until now,

there has been no school in the

community for miles around. The

life of the children will change

positively, the children have the

chance for a self-determined life."

The Kiera Chaplin Desert

Flower School in River Number

2 is a primary school for children

between the ages of six and

twelve. 20 teachers take care of

their education. Kiera Chaplin:

"This school is just the beginning

of many other aid projects."

Desert Flower Foundation/Lisi Niesner

Moving moment:

Kiera Chaplin opens

the school together

with Sierra Leone's

Minister Emily

Kadiatu Gogra and

Mohamed Haji-

Kella (left) and with

Father Peter Konteh.

KIERA CHAPLIN IS CONVINCED:

"Charlie Chaplin is

our guardian angel"

Interview on her new mission, her commitment in

Sierra Leone and her world-famous grandfather. It is

Desert Flower Foundation: Kiera,

how did the collaboration with

Waris Diries Desert Flower

Foundation come about? What

were your personal motivations?

»Kiera Chaplin: I met Waris at an

event in Berlin. She is such a strong

woman and her life story is very

fascinating. She is such a positive

person and she radiates so much

energy. Waris really made me aware

of the extreme poverty and the

great injustice that prevails in

certain African countries. So I did

not have to think long before I decided

to get involved.

Desert Flower Foundation: What

made you decide to open a school

for 400 children in Africa?

»Kiera Chaplin: Africa suffers from

an education shortage. 34 percent

of the 1.2 billion Africans can neither

read nor write. Women and

girls are the most affected.

Desert Flower Foundation: And why

Sierra Leone?

»Kiera Chaplin: Sierra Leone is one of

the poorest countries in the world

with one of the highest illiteracy

rates of all. 70 percent of the children

in Sierra Leone do not attend

school. The consequences of the

terrible civil war that raged for over

a decade and the Ebola epidemic

are still being felt throughout the

country. I think it is simply our duty

to help those who are less fortunate

than we are. I am extremely happy

our duty to

help those

who are

less

fortunate

than we

are!

Kiera Chaplin

on her mission

to be able to make a contribution to

a better world.

Desert Flower Foundation: What

can you actually achieve with a

school?

»Kiera Chaplin: Those who want

to help Africa sustainably,

those who want to do something

against the growing poverty, the

escalating population explosion and

the unfortunately still widespread

female genital mutilation must

invest in education.

Desert Flower Foundation: Your

grandfather Charlie Chaplin is

portrayed on the outside wall of

the school building.

»Kiera Chaplin: My grandfather

himself had a difficult childhood in

London. Education was always very

important to him. I like to think of

him as my guardian angel, and I

know that he is also the guardian

angel of the students at our school

in Sierra Leone.

Video of shool opening!

Scan QR code with

mobile phone

camera and watch

the video of the

school opening.

10 11


DESERT FLOWER

EDUCATION

Waris Dirie's first reading and

exercise booklet "My Africa -

The Journey" is used in lessons

at Sierra Leone's schools.

Students of the

Kiera Chaplin Desert

Flower School also

received the

educational boxes.

This is inside the

Education Box

he Desert Flower education box contains a reading

T and exercise booklet, set of pencils, wooden ruler,

sharpener and school bag.

Lack of school material. What we take for granted

makes the difference in Africa. And changes the

everyday school life of the children. Because only one

in 30 school children owns a school book in Africa.

Students in

Sierra Leone

with reading

and exercise

booklet from

the Desert

Flower

education box.

Those

who really

want to

help women

and girls in

Africa must

invest in

education!

Waris Dirie on

her education offensive

SUCCESSFUL START OF

OUR INITIATIVE

1 Million School

Books for Africa

Desert Flower education boxes. In Africa, 30 school

children share one reading book. There is a lack of

writing materials everywhere. We are fighting this.

t is a vicious circle! Almost

I all statistics of UNESCO and

the World Health Organization

(WHO) show that Africa's

countries with the highest

number of illiterates also have

the highest incidence of female

genital mutilation (FGM). Poverty

and population explosion further

worsen the sad situation.

Education in Africa. As early as

2016, Waris Dirie and her team

decided to make education in

Africa a focus of their work. The

distribution of the Desert Flower

education boxes plays a major

role in this. In 2019, 10,062 education

boxes were distributed

to 5,692 girls and 4,370 boys in

19 schools in Sierra Leone, West

Africa with the generous support

of the Women's World Day of

Prayer.

A donation of just 10 euros supplies

an education box containing

reading and exercise booklets,

pencils, sharpeners, wooden rulers

and school bags. What may

seem little makes a big difference

for the children in Africa.

According to UNESCO, 30 school

children in Africa have to share

one reading book. Many public

primary schools lack textbooks

and writing materials. As a result,

many pupils cannot read or write

even after several years of school

attendance. We are fighting

against this unfortunate situation

with our initiative.

"My Africa - The Journey". The

reading and exercise booklet of

the Desert Flower education

box is based on Waris Dirie's

first reading book "My Africa -

The Journey". The book tells the

story of young Desert Flower

Waris, who sets off on an adventure

trip with her brother Mo to

discover their home continent

Africa. On an exciting journey

they get to know the impressive

animal and plant world of Africa.

The book also contains simple

exercises to help the children

learn to read and write.

Donate

Education

Boxes!

he big distribution campaign

T of Desert Flower education

boxes has started in Sierra Leone.

With 70.10 percent illiterate (population

over 14 years of age), the

state has the third highest number

worldwide after Niger (79.60 %)

and Burkina Faso (71.30 %).

One million. The aim of our campaign

is to give one million children

in Africa their first Desert Flower

education box and opens the door

to them to have a better and more

self-determined future.

You can donate here!

You would like to

donate education

boxes to children

in Africa? Scan QR

Code and open link.

12 13


DESERT FLOWER

INSIDE

Scenery from the film

Desert Flower: The

three-year-old Safa

with her film mother

on the way to her cruel

genital circumcision.

Safa (r.) with

Waris Dirie at

school in Djibouti.

Like all our saved Desert

Flowers, Safa is getting a health

check. Here with pediatrician

Emma Acina.

The story of

Safa went

around the

world: US

channel CNN

reported

and raised

awareness of

Waris Dirie's

worldwide fight

against FGM.

British soulpop

singer Joss

Stone was so

moved by

Safa's story

that she visited

her in Djibouti.

DESERT FLOWER, THE FILM WONDER

How we saved

Safa, the Little

Desert Flower

The film Desert Flower. Safa played little Waris

Dirie in the circumcision scene and moved the

world to tears. But the film also saved her life!

he simulated violent female

T circumcision in the movie

Desert Flower shocked the

whole world and made the

cinema audience cry. The scene

is still extremely disturbing

today, the practice itself cruel

and against every human right.

But the film sequence is also very

closely connected to the wonderful

rescue of Safa from Djibouti.

Audition. Safa Idriss Noura from

Balbala, a shanty town, played

little Waris Dirie in the movie.

"We noticed her immediately at

the auditions," Dirie remembers

today. "A beautiful three-yearold

girl. It soon became clear that

she was the one who was to play

me in the film." Later it turned

out that Safa's parents wanted to

have her cut with the film fee in

real life. "When I found out, I was

horrified, shocked, stunned, but

also really angry," Dirie says.

The deal. A contract was

signed between Safa's parents

and the Desert Flower Foundation,

which is still valid. The deal:

no genital mutilation and no

forced marriage for Safa. In

return, school attendance is

paid for her and the family is

provided with water and food every

month.

Safa's rescue from FGM led

to the establishment of the

sponsorship programme "Save a

Little Desert Flower" in 2014. This

initiative saved thousands of girls

from the torture of FGM.

And Safa? She still lives with

My

biggest

dream

is to

become

an actress

or a doctor!

Safa Idriss Noura on

her plans for the future

her family in Djibouti, attends the

Lycee Francais school and has big

plans for the future.

"Sometimes people ask me

what Waris Dirie and I have

in common. Then I always answer

that I am proud to have

played little Waris in the

movie", Safa reveals. "My big

dream is to become an actress

or a doctor. I will give everything

so that I can achieve that. That is

why it is so important for me to

be able to go to school and learn.

I'm very grateful for that. Because

where I live, it is not common that

girls are allowed to go to school."

Save Desert Flowers!

Scan the QR code

with your mobile

phone camera and

become a Desert

Flower sponsor.

14 15


DESERT FLOWER

INSIDE

During her last

visit to Sierra

Leone, Waris Dirie

was celebrated

like a heroine in

the streets of Allen

Town.

Waris Dirie

struggles with her

emotions: Girls

at risk of FGM are

handed over to the

care of the Desert

Flower Foundation.

Waris always feels most

comfortable with her students

and sponsored girls.

Now We Are

Saving 8,000 Girls

Initiative. In Sierra Leone alone, the Desert Flower

Foundation has saved over 1000 girls from FGM.

That is not enough! A new campaign now aims

to save 8,000 girls from this torture.

When Waris Dirie was in Sierra

Leone in December 2019 to

see for herself the construction

progress of the first three Desert

Flower Schools, she was greeted

like a heroine at the airport.

During her visit to Allen Town,

where today the Werner

Holzer Desert Flower School is

located, the whole community

was on its feet. To the sound of

drums, a convoy of people, led by

Waris, marched through the

streets singing and dancing. The

same drum sounds usually only

THIS IS OUR NEW FGM CAMPAIGN

FGM is

certainly

one of the

worst

types

of child

abuse.

Waris Dirie on

her fight against FGM

Grateful: For Sierra Leone's people,

Waris Dirie is "A true champion".

resound when the next female

genital circumcision is about to

take place.

FGM terminated. But this time

everything was different. Although

more than 30 little girls

in their white dresses and white

face painting had already been

prepared for the inhuman ritual,

but instead of their genitals being

mutilated, the 20 circumcisers

handed them over into the care

of the Desert Flower Foundation.

This was an act with strong

symbolic power. The traditional

circumcisers of Allen Town

belong to the influential, secret

Bondo Society. They have now

stopped this extremely cruel and

life changing practice.

New campaign. A great success,

which was preceded by months

of educational work by the Desert

Flower Founation. With the

construction of three Desert

Flower Schools, but above all

with the sponsorship programme

"Save a Little Desert Flower", the

Desert Flower Foundation has so

far been able to save over 1,000

girls from FGM in Sierra Leone

alone. But many more Desert

Flowers still must be saved. Our

ambitious goal: With the support

of our generous donors, the

Foundation wants to save 8,000

girls from this practice in the

coming years.

Every girl we save from FGM

now receives an education

and is protected from forced

marriage.

These little girls (left) were

already prepared for genital

circumcision. Our campaign

succeeded in saving them all.

Tragic incident. One cruel incident

came to the public attention during

Waris Dirie's campaign to raise

awareness about FGM by coincidence.

It was a dramatic example

of just how much more needs to be

done to completely eradicate this

brutal practice. 64 girls had been

genitally mutilated in a FGM massacre

in Sierra Leone. The 10-yearold

Mariatu did not survive the cruel

ritual and bled to death. Seven

other girls were admitted to hospital

in critical condition. Tragic:

Mariatu's father still wanted to prevent

the circumcision, as his older

daughter had already died from

the consequences of FGM. But her

mother had the brutal procedure

carried out anyway.

Waris Dirie was very upset

by the incident: "I have been

fighting against this horror for

more than 20 years, then I am in

Sierra Leone and I experience it

again. I am sorry that I could not

save Mariatus' life."

But at the same time, this is also

the biggest motivation for Waris

Dirie and her team from the Desert

Flower Foundation to save many

more girls from FGM with the

upcoming campaign. Thousands of

people in Sierra Leone have already

joined these efforts. And more are

joining every day.

Make a donation here!

By becoming a

sponsor you save

Desert Flowers

from the cruel

practice of FGM.

16 17


DESERT FLOWER

INSIDE

WÜSTENBLUME, THE MUSICAL

From "99 Luftballons"

to Wüstenblume

Hit producer Uwe

Fahrenkrog-Petersen.

He composed the

successful musical

Wüstenblume and the

song 8,000 Girls. A song

that gives hope.

He is a real guarantee for

Top Hits. Uwe Fahrenkrog-

Petersen composed songs like 99

Luftballons and Irgendwie, irgendwo,

irgendwann for Germany's

pop icon Nena, with whom he

toured for years as the keyboard

player. Fahrenkrog-Petersen also

wrote the soulful music for the

new musical Wüstenblume (see

pages 28/29), for which he has

already received a lot of praise

from international media.

The number 8,000. His song

8,000 girls is extremely emotional,

combative and stirring. A

song with unbelievably strong

expressiveness. A song that stirs

up lot of emotions. In the musical

Wüstenblume the song symbolises

Waris Dirie's speech at the United

Nations. On one hand, the

number 8,000 underlines that

even today 8,000 girls are still

genitally mutilated every day.

On the other hand the song

8,000 Girls also stands for the

next big ambitious goal that the

Desert Flower Foundation has

set itself in Sierra Leone, West

Africa. The foundation has already

managed to save more

than 1,000 girls from FGM, and

provided them with education.

Now they plan to save another

8,000 girls from this barbaric

procedure.

Uwe Fahrenkrog-

Petersen composed

the musical

Wüstenblume, which

tells the life story of

Waris Dirie.

Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen (2), Andoni Lopez

UWE FAHRENKROG-PETERSEN:

"Waris Dirie is my

big inspiration"

Interview: The hit producer on the challenges of

composing and his special source of creativity.

Desert Flower Foundation: Uwe,

how difficult was it to convey the

sensitive issue of female genital

mutilation in songs?

»Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen: At first I

was not really sure if it would work.

But then I dared to do it, and I was

positively surprised at how the music

created a link to these strong

emotions. In the end, music is all

about transporting emotions, the

bigger and stronger the emotions,

the stronger the song. I was moved

to tears while composing the song

"8000 Mädchen" at the piano. This

was a good sign that I was able to

tell Waris Dirie's own very stirring

story musically.

Desert Flower Foundation: Does it

help when composing that your

are dealing with a true story?

»Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen: Yes, it is

very helpful if you know it is a true

story. Music has to be true in order

to carry the listener away.

Desert Flower Foundation: How did

you approach the very difficult

topic? What inspired you?

»Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen: A lot.

From John Lennon to baroque,

opera choirs or heavy metal, even

Oasis. But one of my absolute favorite

composers is John Barry,

who also wrote the music for the

movie Out of Africa, which was a

good inspiration for the epic side

of the story. With the many changes

of place and time, the biggest

challenge was to write a homogeneous,

consistent musical and to

always show my very personal style.

Desert Flower Foundation: How

important was it that you got to

know Waris Dirie personally?

»Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen: You

MUST get to know Waris if you

want to portray her impressive life

very authentically in music. She is

Waris and Uwe on the

Red Carpet during the musical

world premiere in St. Gallen.

You

must get to

know Waris

if you want

to portray

her life

authentically

in

music!

Uwe Fahrenkrog-

Petersen on his motivation

The creators of the

musical Wüstenblume

with their

wives at the world

premiere at the

theater St. Gallen in

Switzerland. Third

from right: Fahrenkrog-Petersen

with

his wife Christin.

an exceptionally strong, inspiring

woman.

Desert Flower Foundation: Is it important

to you not only to entertain

with your music, but also to

make a social-political impact?

»Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen: As with

99 Luftballons, it is important to

me to use music to make a difference

in people's hearts and minds.

This is what I do best and therefore

I have to do it again to preserve this

world and make it a better place.

Support our projects!

With your generous

donation you help

us to protect girls

and women from

FGM.

18 19


DESERT FLOWER

MEDICINE

THAT'S UNIQUE!

Our Desert

The other

Desert Flower

Centers

Flower

Centers

Desert Flower Center in Berlin. Founded in 2013,

it is now the world's largest holistic treatment

center for sufferers of female genital mutilation.

Anyone who dials Dr. Cornelia

Strunz's emergency number

or visits her during consultation

hours has been through a terrible

experience. In her office on the

5th floor of the Desert Flower

Center in the Waldfriede hospital

in Berlin-Zehlendorf, she

receives women of many different

nationalities, but they all

have one thing in common: They

were genitally circumcised!

"Doctor Conny". "Most women

who come to me are scared and

shy. Many not only feel physically

disfigured, but also robbed

of their femininity," says Cornelia

Strunz, who everyone at the

Desert Flower Center just calls

"Dr. Conny". The center in Berlin,

which was founded by Waris

Dirie's Desert Flower Foundation,

has operated since 2013.

It has always been important to

her not only to protect girls and

women from the inhuman ritual

of female genital mutilation, but

also to help the women affected.

There are further Desert Flower

centers in Paris, Stockholm and

Amsterdam.

Holistic. Our Desert Flower

Center in Berlin is the only center

that offers holistic care for

women affected by FGM. The

concept: Physicians, physiotherapists,

psychologists and

social workers operate here as a

team and offer both medical and

psychosocial care. The ultimate

goal: to give women back their

quality of life.

Terrible torture. Women affected

by FGM very often suffer from

terrible pain when going to the

toilet and during sexual intercourse,

severe chronic inflammation,

fistulas, incontinence and

great mental stress. "The women

remember their circumcision for

the rest of their lives, the tortuous

way they were held down,

the fact that their legs were

bound together, the pain. That

is traumatising for them," Strunz

reveals.

Only a few surgeons in

the world perform reverse

operations (reconstruction of the

labia, clitoral reconstruction)

on circumcised women because

the procedure is complex. At the

Desert Flower center Berlin, Dr.

Uwe von Fritschen, a plastic surgeon,

takes over. The team in the

center is headed by doctor Roland

Scherer. He was also the one

who offered Cornelia Strunz the

responsible and very sensitive

task of looking after the women.

Doctor Conny has very quickly

grown into her work and in the

meantime, it has become a personal

life-task for her.

Most

women

who come

to me are

shy. They

feel robbed

of their

femininity.

Dr. Cornelia Strunz,

Desert Flower Center Berlin

The self-help group that meets

once a month at the Waldfriede hospital

in Germany's capital Berlin.

Doctor Conny is particularly pleased

when the affected women take their

children to her self-help group.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPIES

"I want to achieve the

best for every woman"

Desert Flower Foundation: How is group, which is very well received.

the Desert Flower center Berlin Most women are very frightened.

helping women affected by FGM? Desert Flower Foundation: Does every

woman who comes to the cen-

»Dr. Cornelia Strunz: We are the

first center to offer holistic help to ter have a genital reconstruction?

genital circumcised women. Both »Dr. Cornelia Strunz: No. Our help

surgically and psychologically. The also depends on the type of genital

consultation hours are important: circumcision, on how severe the

I take care of the women, I answer injuries are. But we can help most

all their questions and discuss their women very well surgically. The

worries. Very often I am the first most important thing for me is: I

woman they talk to about it. That is want to achieve the best therapy for

very touching. I also run a self-help each woman individually.

Interview:

Cornelia

Strunz on

her work at

the Desert

Flower Center

Berlin.

Team of physicians

from the Desert

Flower Center in

Berlin: Dr. Cornelia

Strunz (center),

Dr. Roland Scherer

(right) and Dr. Uwe

von Fritschen (left).

TRAINING CENTER IN AMSTERDAM

With Dr. Refaat Karim (second from right) a

training center for surgeons, gynaecologists

and urologists opened in Amsterdam in 2014.

"LA MAISON DES FEMMES" IN PARIS

Since 2016, women affected by FGM have

been able to contact the Desert Flower

center in the Hôpital Delafontaine in Paris.

DESERT FLOWER CENTER STOCKHOLM

In cooperation with the Karolinska

University Hospital, the fourth Desert Flower

center opened in Stockholm in 2015.

Here you can support us!

With your generous

donation you

can directly

support our

individual projects.

20 21


DESERT FLOWER

INSIDE

Father Peter Konteh

on the road in his

function as director

of the Desert

Flower Foundation

Africa.

Education for

girls is the key in

the fight against

female genital

mutilation. Father

Peter Konteh

distributing our

Desert Flower

education boxes.

EXEMPLARY

A Priest

Fights against FGM

Father Peter Konteh is director of the Desert

Flower Foundation Africa. He uses his contacts in

the fight against female genital mutilation. His

connections reach as far as the Pope in the Vatican.

Father Peter Alpha Konteh is an

institution in his home country

Sierra Leone, West Africa. The

people love him and he loves the

humanitarian work. His network

extends to the highest government

circles, Sierra Leone's

President Julius Maada Bio is a

good acquaintance with whom

he likes to exchange ideas. The

president has personally inquired

with Father Peter Konteh about

the projects of the Desert Flower

Foundation and the construction

progress of the first three Desert

Flower schools.

Organising talent. Peter Konteh

is also known for his extraordinary

organisational talent. Which

has brought us very far in the

implementation of the major education

initiative in Sierra Leone.

• Peter Konteh selected the

locations of the three Desert

Flower schools in River Number

2 (Kiera Chaplin School), Allen

Town (Werner Holzer School)

and Tombo (Rotary Club Heidenheim

School) according to very

special criteria.

• He coordinated the big

distribution of the 10,000 Desert

Flower education boxes to Sierra

Leone's schools together with

our local staff.

• During the Coronavirus shutdown,

he quickly distributed radio

sets to our sponsored girls in

The

religious

leaders

must dispel

the myth

that female

genital

mutilation is

a necessity.

Father Peter Konteh

on his efforts

Sierra Leone so that they could

use the distance learning initiated

by Sierra Leone's government.

A real rarity. And: Father Peter

Konteh is the first Catholic priest

in the world to publicly stand up

against female genital mutilation.

This is a topic of discussion that

he repeatedly raises during his

frequent visits to the Vatican.

During the terrible Ebola epidemic

in Sierra Leone (2014-

2016) he did not leave the

country, but instead worked

tirelessly for his people. Among

other things, he cared for orphaned

children. At the same

time, he also raised awareness

on an international level with two

high-profile speeches in the US

Congress and the British House

of Commons. The Sierra Leoneans

will always be grateful to

him for this. With Father Peter

Konteh we have a strong partner

just where our help is most urgently

needed.

During Coronavirus shutdown Father Peter Konteh equipped our

sponsored girls in Sierra Leone with radios for distance learning.

Networker: Father Peter Konteh with Waris Dirie (right) in 2019

visiting Freetown's mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (centre).

PETER KONTEH POINTS OUT:

"No single religion

prescribes FGM"

Interview on the right to an intact body and our

three Desert Flower schools in Sierra Leone.

Desert Flower Foundation: What

criteria were used to select the

locations for the Desert Flower

schools in Sierra Leone?

»Father Peter Konteh: In all three

communities, River Number 2,

Allen Town and Tombo, there were

no schools. 67 percent of schoolage

children did not attend a school

there. This figure was alarming. And

the children were mainly engaged in

stone and sand mining, sea fishing

and other dangerous activities.

Desert Flower Foundation: What

must happen to eradicate FGM

once and for all?

»Father Peter Konteh: It is said

that it takes a village to raise a

child. Grandparents, mothers, fathers

and mothers-in-law all have

their roles to play, as do religious

leaders who must help dispel

the myth that FGM is a religious

necessity. FGM is a crime and

has no place in our time. FGM

has no health benefits and has

serious, immediate and long-term

physical and mental health consequences

that can be severe,

post-traumatic stress disorder, depression

and feelings of anxiety.

Desert Flower Foundation: Why is the

practice of FGM so deeply rooted

in Africa?

»Father Peter Konteh: In Africa, the

reasons for FGM vary greatly from

country to country, ethnic group to

ethnic group and community to community.

It is a deeply rooted social

practice associated with growing up,

marriageability, purity and sexual

control. The practice occurs in all

social classes and in many religious

groups, although no religion prescribes

it. One thing is clear: every girl

has the right to an intact body and to

education. It is crucial to ensure safe

and quality education opportunities

for girls at risk. A self-determined

woman with education will not easily

submit to the constraints of a community.

Make a donation here!

Please support

the work of the

Desert Flower

Foundation with

your donation.

22 23


DESERT FLOWER

CAMPAIGN

LUXURY LABEL, STAR PHOTOGRAPHER & SUPERMODEL

The Campaign again st FGM

Top collaboration. Desert Flower Foundation works with luxury label

Coco de Mer and star photographer Rankin in the fight against FGM.

London, the studio of star

photographer Rankin. Some

employees scurry through the

room, shouting commands

to each other. Spotlights are

switched on and off. Music by

Prince hammers from the speakers.

Click, click, click! Rankin is

sitting on the floor, pressing the

shutter release of his camera

staccato-like. The atmosphere

creates an immediate connection

between Waris Dirie and Rankin.

The result of the collaboration

causes a furore in the spring of

2019.

Comeback as model. EndFGM

was the name of the campaign,

entirely financed by the British

luxury lingerie label Coco de Mer.

In return, Waris Dirie posed for

the lingerie manufacturer's Icon

Collection. Waris' comeback as a

model was remarkable because,

as human rigths activist, she has

already decided not to take part

in future advertising campaigns.

She only wanted to engage in

promoting the rights of African

women, and to fight against the

brutal ritual of FGM.

Headlines. At the same time

Rankin produced the short film

"Save A Desert Flower" for the

Desert Flower Foundation.

Led by Waris, activists hold up

message-bearing posters. The

campaign triggered a huge international

media response. Many

newspapers and magazines, including

Vogue, Harper's Bazaar,

Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone Magazine,

Welt, Spiegel and El Pais, as well as

CNN, BBC and Sky News reported

Together

we can end

all these

terrible

abuses

against

little girls!

Waris Dirie on

the EndFGM-Initiative

on the campaign. The campaign

was deliberately launched on 7th

March 2019, one day before International

Women's Day.

"It is time for women to take

up the sceptre and restore peace,

love, understanding, care, compassion

and togetherness. I am

convinced that women will save

this world and make it a better

place again. That is why I say,

Women of the world, stand up,"

Dirie said at the time.

Award-winning. The EndFGM

campaign of the Desert Flower

Foundation in collaboration with

luxury lingerie brand Coco de

Mer and Rankin not only made

headlines, but also won awards. A

14-member expert jury of the renowned

German iF International

Forum crowned it with the Social

Impact Prize 2019. iF supports

social projects that solve social

challenges with new ideas and

impulses.

Rankin/Coco de Mer

SUPERSTAR

Rankin

puts Waris

on the spot

It was the first collaboration between

Waris Dirie and British

star photographer Rankin. And it

immediately became a great success.

Further projects are not excluded.

Uncomplicated. John Rankin Waddell,

as he is known by his civil

name, is one of the most famous

photographers in the world. From

Kate Moss, Heidi Klum and Queen

Elizabeth to thousands of strangers

on the street - all are equal in

front of his lens.

This is the official

photo for the EndFGM

campaign, produced

by British star

photographer Rankin

in London.

THIS IS WHAT

RANKIN SAYS:

"The reason

why I

support

Waris Dirie"

Interview on the

unique collaboration.

Desert Flower Foundation: What

was the main reason for you to

agree to shoot the campaign?

»Rankin: The Desert Flower

Foundation are doing some fantastic

work around awareness for

female genital mutilation. In so

many countries this is such an

urgent problem. I was impressed by

their commitment to bring this issue

to the attention of the world.

Desert Flower Foundation: How was

the work with Waris Dirie?

»Rankin: Well, she is a supermodel

after all. So it was an absolute joy.

Desert Flower Foundation: Waris'

sons, Aleeke and Leon, were

involved in the campaign.

What were your thoughts on

integrating them?

»Rankin: Bringing family together

to stand up against injustices in the

world is such a meaningful position

to take. Especially when some men

may find this particular subject

quite difficult to talk about. If we

can teach our children to stand up

for things we believe in the world

can change.

Desert Flower Foundation: The

campaign was awarded the iF

Social Impact Prize 2019 by

the renowned iF International

Forum. Do such awards still have

a special meaning for you?

»Rankin: When your work is recognised

whether it be in awards or

in the press, it always feels positive.

However it was never my intention

to go out to win awards, but more to

change public opinion.

Desert Flower Foundation: Can you

imagine producing further campaigns

for the Desert Flower

Foundation?

»Rankin: Absolutely, we must continue

to fight for women’s rights,

humanity needs to be equal.

Desert Flower Foundation: How important

is the social component

in your work? Is it significant to

you to give something back to the

people?

»Rankin: Definitely, being able to

make my living as a creative is a

privilege. It is one that I don’t take

for granted. The power of communication

is one that hopefully can

change hearts and minds. It would

be a shame if I couldn’t use my skills

to try and change the world.

The campaign video!

Here you can

download the

Rankin video

on the EndFGM

campaign.

24 25


DESERT FLOWER

CAMPAIGN

TWO CAMPAIGNS, ONE GOAL

Together for

African Women

Empowering women. With the successful initiatives

"Together for African Women" and "Soul of Africa"

we have strengthened the independence

of women in Ethiopia.

The Together for African Women campaign

supported 200 single mothers in Ethiopia.

Waris Dirie's collaboration

with the lingerie label Mey

caused quite a stir.

Mey, Vivobarefoot/Asiko

The Me, Myself and Mey

campaign resulted from

a collaboration with the

German lingerie label

Mey.

Waris Dirie repeatedly causes

a stir with large-scale campaigns.

She is not interested in

self-dramatisation. She is more

interested in raising awareness

of her mission, the fight against

female genital mutilation (FGM).

And to remind people that this

criminal act against innocent little

girls and women is still going on.

Great attention. This was also the

aim of the sensational campaign

Me, Myself and Mey back in 2011.

Waris Dirie posed for the German

lingerie label Mey, the campaign

was implemented by Jung von

Matt agency. And in such an exciting

way that the German tabloid

Bild Zeitung was carried away by

the headline "Charity can be so

sexy". The initiative did not miss

its mark. The campaign was then

published in the magazines with

the widest coverage in Germany,

Austria, Switzerland, Denmark,

Belgium and also the Netherlands.

The charity project Waris Dirie

& Mey bodywear - Together

for African Women had already

been implemented before. The

aim of the campaign was to

strengthen the independence of

African women. The proceeds

from the sale of scarves woven

in Ethiopia went to the Desert

Flower Foundation and its mission.

200 single mothers in Ethiopia

were supported and their

children were able to attend

school. The women learned

how to make scarves and fabrics

properly at "Sabahar", an

Ethiopian fair trade company that

produces handmade textiles for

the world market. All Desert Flower

students received diplomas after

two years. By the way, Waris

Dirie wears a copy of a scarf in the

picture right above.

Born Free, Born Nomad. The cooperation

with Vivobarefoot also

aimed to get support for the fight

against the female genital mutilation

and to strengthen women

in Africa. Waris Dirie became a

designer for the sustainable shoe

brand and created a summer

shoe for the Soul of Africa collection

together with the company's

creative team. Inspired by Waris,

the shoes featured the imprint

"Born Free, Born Nomad".

This fits perfectly with Waris

Dirie and reflects her life: "I was

born a nomad and will always be a

nomad." Again, part of the net proceeds

from the sale of the shoes

went to the Desert Flower Foundation

and its projects for Africa's

girls and women.

With

Vivobarefoot

Waris Dirie

designed a

shoe collection.

Part of the

net proceeds

went to the

Foundation.

Watch the campaign video!

Waris Dirie

explains how

the Vivobarefoot

campaign was

implemented.

26 27


DESERT FLOWER

MUSICAL

Waris Dirie (right) poses in front of the poster of

the musical that tells her life story. Kerry Jean (left

middle) gives a convincing performance.

Unforgettable! Cast and musical-makers will take up position

for the photographers after the world premiere on

February 22nd, 2020 at the theater St. Gallen. The mood is

relaxed after the premiere audience was so enthusiastic..

Wüstenblume - The

Acclaimed Musical

Powerful voices of

the leading actresses:

Naomi Simmonds (above

top left) and Kerry Jean

(large picture right).

Andreas J. Etter, Andoni Lopez, Anna-Tina Eberhard

Strong message. After bestselling book and

movie, Wüstenblume has also reached the musical

stage to inspire and encourage women and girls.

It was a memorable evening,

22nd February 2020 at the

St. Gallen Theatre. The world

premiere of the musical Wüstenblume

was eagerly awaited and

exceeded all expectations. Such

a sensitive topic as female genital

mutilation (FGM) on a musical

stage? Can this even work?

It works brilliantly!!! Thanks to

excellent staging (Gil Mehmert),

rousing music (Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen),

beautiful lyrics

(Frank Ramond), the powerful

voices of the performers (such

as Kerry Jean, Naomi Simmonds,

Jogi Kaiser) and impressive stage

design (Christopher Barreca).

And thanks to theatre director

Werner Signer, who showed

much courage and a great deal

of sensitivity by bringing Wüstenblume

to St. Gallen.

Musical encourages. German's

media like Süddeutsche Zeitung

and Zeit wrote about "Goose

bumps", the Welt said Wüstenblume

stirs up". Visibly stirred up

was also Waris Dirie, who came

on stage after the performance

and received a standing ovation.

She was overwhelmed that the

message was so well received by

the audience.

The

message of

the musical

is: You

can achieve

anything

even as a

woman!

Waris Dirie

on Wüstenblume

Waris Dirie: "I think the people

take something with them.

Something they learned in

the musical. That you can always

change something in life

if you dare to change. I want to

encourage all girls and women

with the musical. You can do

anything in life, even as a woman!

No matter where you come from

or what colour you are." After

book (1998) and movie (2009)

Wüstenblume has also succesfully

climbed the musical stage.

More info on the musical!

Here you will be

provided with

all information

about the musical

Wüstenblume.

28 29


DESERT FLOWER

Waris with

Salma Hayek

(left) and

Francois-Henri

Pinault.

With Salma

Hayek on

violence

against women

Waris Dirie on the

board of the

Kering Foundation of

Hollywood actress

Salma Hayek and her

husband, the French

entrepreneur

François-Henri

Pinault, who

supported Waris

Dirie's film Desert

Flower.

BACKSTAGE

FROM POLITICS

TO BUSINESS

& SHOWBIZ

Waris'

Network

Backstage. She is a supermodel and a Bond girl.

Waris Dirie finds her true passion in the fight

against female genital mutilation. She uses fame

and popularity for her life's mission.

2004 in

Hamburg:

Women's

World Award

Gala.

Highlight:

Sarkozy

honors

Waris in

Paris.

Honored with the

highest order of France

In July 2007, Waris Dirie and the

Desert Flower Foundation were

awarded France's highest order,

Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur

(Knight of the Legion of Honor),

by French President Nicolas

Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace in

Paris.

With model friend Liya Kebede

for H&M. Liya played Waris Dirie

in the movie Desert Flower.

Waris as UN

ambassador

UN Secretary General

Kofi Annan appointed

Waris Dirie as UN

Special Envoy against

female genital

circumcision in 1997.

She travelled around

the world to draw

attention to FGM.

Supermodel for

a good cause

As a supermodel Waris

Dirie worked for Chanel,

L'Oréal, Revlon, Versace,

Cartier, Levi's and many

other top brands. Today

she models for international

companies such as

H&M, Mey, Coco de Mer,

Rado to raise money

for the Desert Flower

Foundation.

With top

models Marcus

Schenkenberg

and Carmen

Kreuzer at the

Rado Desert

Flower gala.

With model colleague Alek Wek

at a Desert Flower charity.

Talk with Beatle Sir Paul McCartney about

a common project in Somalia.

Good sense of rhythm

Music is a supporting factor in the

life of Waris Dirie. During her

numerous encounters with Rock

and Pop stars,

there were

always profound

discussions and

interesting

exchanges of

opinions.

Ron Wood, guitarist

of the Rolling Stones,

plans an art project

with Waris.

With Güler

Sabanci

in Istanbul.

A strong

female power

The Sabanci Foundation

of Turkey's top

entrepreneur and

philanthropist

Güler Sabanci

supports the

educational projects

of the Desert Flower

Foundation. Waris

presents her first

school book My Africa

- The Journey.

2019 in Düsseldorf: Honorary prize for Paula

Caballero (r.) at the German Sustainability Award.

Mikhail Gorbachev presented

Waris with her trophy.

Honored and laudatory speech

In 2004 Waris Dirie was presented with the World Social Award

by Mikhail Gorbachev. In 2019 she gave the laudatory speech for

Paula Caballero at the German Sustainability Award.

With Poland's former president Lech

Walesa and manager friend Joanna

Jasik at a gala in Düsseldorf.

Political lobbying

In her function as UN special

envoy against female

circumcision, Waris Dirie met

numerous politicians. She is

friends with some of them,

others have honored her.

Poland's Lech Walesa advised

her: "You must never give up!

BBC documentary

on her unique career

A Nomad in New York is the title of

the highly acclaimed documentary

filmed by the British TV channel

BBC. It tells the life story of Waris

Dirie. Produced for the series The

day that changed my life.

Waris with friend

& fan: German pop

icon Nena (below).

With musician, Live Aid organiser and

long-term friend Bob Geldof talking

about an African project.

Waris Dirie on Instagram

Follow Waris Dirie

on Instagram and

learn all about

her mission first

hand.

At the Vienna Opera

At the Stanglwirt in

Ball 2018 as state guest In 2014 Waris received a high peace prize

Tyrol with former EU

of Austrian Chancellor

award from the British House of Lords.

Commission President

30 Sebastian Kurz.

Jean-Claude Juncker.

31


THANK YOU!

The Desert Flower Foundation expresses its thanks to all donors and sponsors.

Thanks to your support over the years we have been able to achieve many goals together. But

we have much more to do.

That is why we ask you to continue supporting us so generously!

"The loyalty of women must be earned with trust, respect and affection, not with

barbaric rituals. FGM has nothing to do with religion, the only proper reason and purpose

is the oppression of women. It is the most brutal form of oppression."

WARIS DIRIE

SAVE THE LITTLE

DESERT FLOWERS!

Donations to the Desert Flower Foundation are

tax deductible in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Desert Flower Foundation, Austria

Erste Bank, Kto. Nr: 294 698 036 00, BLZ: 20111

IBAN: AT 94 20111 294 698 036 00, BIC: GIBAATWWXXX

Desert Flower Foundation, Germany

Commerzbank, Kto. Nr: 40 55 64000, BLZ: 500 803 00

IBAN: DE 25 5008 0300 0405 5640 00, BIC: DRESDEFF500

Desert Flower Foundation, Switzerland

Raiffeisen Bank, Kto. Nr: 799407.36

IBAN: CH 89 8080 8004 2499 7163 4, SWIFT: RAIFCH22

Verein Desert Flower Switzerland

UBS, Kto. Nr. 0292-117744.01 L

IBAN: CH920029229211774401L, BIC: UBSWCHZH80A

Contact & information:

Desert Flower Foundation

Ungargasse 24, A-1030 Wien

office@desertflowerfoundation.org

www.desertflowerfoundation.org

Join us on social media!

/desertflowerfoundation /waris.dirie /waris.dirie

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