By Samsideen Ceesay
Activista-The Gambia in collaboration with He For She funded by the Network Against Gender-Based Violence through its Amplify Change project recently held a five-day national youth forum on FGM, under the theme: Young People Unite to End Female Genital Mutilation.
The five-day convergence held at FIFA goal project in Old Yundum is an initiative spearheaded by Activista and brought together participants from youth-led organisations across the country.
The convergence was designed to raise awareness of young people in the fight against FGM as well strengthen ways to halt the practices.
Speaking at the event, the advocacy and campaign officer, NGBV, Isatou Jeng, said: “It is always overwhelming and excited for us to be in such gatherings where we support member organizations of the network against gender based violence as well strengthening their capacity on the practices against FGM.”
She added: “This national youth forum on FGM would not only be centered on speeches or words but will be guided with actions; actions that will remind the young people to take the leading role in the fight against female genital mutilation in the country.
“Network against the gender based violence; two years ago in partnership with ActionAid International-The Gambia secured a 2-year funding from Amplify Change to strengthening the capacity of the network against gender based violence in order to advocate and eradicate the practice of FGM in the Gambia.”
“We will continu to advocate for the fight against FGM until the country is an FGM-free nation,” she said, adding that Activista-The Gambia and HE for SHE have similar principles, values and virtues in fighting for the right of women and girls as well spearheading the implementation of this national youth forum on FGM.
Omar Badjie, the executive director, ActionAid International-The Gambia said at the beginning of the implementation of the SDGs, the “UN did inform the world that if we are not serious about the implementation of the SDGs about 120 million more people will be living in poverty and mainly because of climate change. So globally we have lot of factors that are really militating the targets of our efforts.”