Zion Melak, ’64, comes from Eritrea and has lived in Germany since 1980. Since 2011, the mother of two has been publicly committed to the abolition or elimination of female genital mutilation. She works as an integration consultant, interpreter and speaker.
Volker Eisele, ’65, is a certified psychologist and works as a child and family therapist. He has accompanied Zion Melak since the beginning of her work and is the association’s right hand man.
Marion Schmidt, teacher
Psychologist, teacher of meditation and consciousness development and performance artist:
“It was in June 2009 that I first met Zion Melak.
I have been working artistically for many years on human rights violations against women, especially on sexualised violence. My very first performance, for which I had done a lot of research, was “Love the Rose – On the Mutilation of the Female Genitals” http://do-wa.de/liebe_die_rose.html
When I first performed this piece in Stuttgart in 2002, the subject was still largely taboo, i.e. not very well known.
For me, this form of violence against women (and I now also include the circumcision of boys) was and is one of the most central and profound attacks on women and femininity in general.
Throughout my life I have been investigating the sources of this attack on femininity and its impact on the development of humanity as a whole.
And this is the essential point of contact with the experiences and the profound inner work of Zion Melak, which connects me with her.
In this way we have developed a wonderful and fruitful work together. We are united by a deep experience and certainty that femininity is the primordial nature of human beings.
If this is really the case, of which we are convinced – and which is partially confirmed by science – then there is only one answer: ” femininity is the living principle and was so in the beginning. When it is respected, it gives people dignity and they feel good.”
Teacher and certified pedagogue
The name chosen by Zion Melak for her association: “Mahaliya: carrying the legacy into the new age”, is for me a deep expression of what this is all about: the continued removal of taboos regarding female genital mutilation. This means taking on board what is happening and has happened all over the world in terms of human rights violations against women. It means that the women affected – and all of humanity as a whole – are made aware of this.
Female genital mutilation is an unimaginably cruel crime against women, a profound violation of femininity. This concerns all of humanity, on whatever continent, if we want to heal, become strong and develop as a united whole.
In my work with Zion Melak, I have become aware of the extent and dimension of this violation against women. It is an attack on the cradle of humanity. I would like to support Zion Melak in her work to create spaces of trust in order to bring this deep wound into general consciousness and out of the darkness of taboo.
Let us assume that the cradle of humanity is Africa. And since all women are and remain the cradle of humanity, it is obvious that FGM continues to violate the deepest female values. And this immense violation of femininity is reflected in both sexes.
One way out of this violation is to enlighten humanity, to illuminate the suffering of those affected – without assigning blame. To enlighten, in order to come to new insights and new power, to new feminine power in all of us, women and men alike. Zion Melak is devoting herself to this enlightenment and reappraisal in the most wonderful way. I would like to support her in her efforts.