By Rohey Jadama
Think Young Women (TYW), in partnership with Safe Hands For Girls, has concluded the second national youth forum on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Saturday, 5th December, 2015 at the Paradise Suites Hotel with the theme “FGM and Youth: Stopping an age-old Tradition in a Generation”.
The forum being funded by United Nation Population Funds (UNFPA) gathered youths from across the country to engage them in a two day dialogue which would not only make them to become aware of the social and health implications of FGM but to also encourage and empower them to accelerate the abandonment of FGM though youth led strategies and initiatives.
For her part, the National Coordinator of TYW, Ms. Amie Kujabi, said it is one thing to gather the participants but at the end of the day the outcome of the gathering is the most important thing. She advised the participants to critically analyse the information given and see how best they can convince those individuals who are still holding to this age old tradition.
The TYW National Coordinator urged the participants to organised step down trainings so that they can reach a wider coverage and also come up with initiatives and strategies
Mrs Fatou Kinteh, the National Programme Officer responsible for Gender at UNFPA, said UNFPA is prepared to give all the support needed to programs geared towards the abandonment of FGM. She said they are working with young people as they are top of the agenda. She revealed that they are implementing joint Programme with UNICEF. “With the information you have, you will be in a better position to shape a better future for yourselves”.
“We are working with TYW because we have trust and confidence in them. When you go back to your communities, try to reach as many people as you can. Use social media too as young people. Remember that FGM is a culturally-sensitive issue. This forum does not make you experts. Reach out to colleagues”, said the National Programme Officer responsible for Gender at UNFPA.
“The National Youth Council remains to work with TYW and Safe Hands For Girls because we believe that these two organisations are doing what is right”, said Sheriffo Mboge, North Bank Region’s Regional Youth chairperson, National Youth Council.
Mr. Mboge described the forum as valuable and timely as it is engaging young people on issues affecting them. He urged TYW to work with all youth led groups in the country because it is their conviction that with the involvement of all they can make a change.
For her part, Mam Lisa Camara, from Safe Hands For Girls, urged the participants to promote partnership, share and engage their classmates and communities on the knowledge gained from the forum.