Visionary Youth Gambia (VYGA) has recently wrapped up a two-day training for volunteers on FGM and advocacy held at the regional education directorate in Brikama.
The event was spearheaded by VYGA and supported by The Girl Generation through its FGM advocacy component dubbed ‘Ending FGM in a generation’.
Speaking at the event, the project manager of VYGA, Isatou Bah noted that VYGA is a youth led organisation for proactive youth engagement particularly on empowerment and fight against social vices with specific focus on complementing the National Youth policy and National Development Plan.
“Social workers and community workers are agents of change as their role in the campaign against FGM is crucial. VYGA stands out in protecting the sexual and reproductive health rights of the girl child.
“FGM is an age old traditional practice that has been proven to be harmful to the health and welfare of the girl child,” she said, noting that the practice does not only affect the health status of women and young girls but also their emotional wellbeing.
She said it is not a practice that should stay but should be a history in the near future, whilst optimistic that the advocacy will focus on amplifying the advocacy message of the campaign and connecting youth commitment to effectively participate in their respective institutions.
She disclosed that the project has had its first implementation with-out-of school youths in Brufut in March 2018, noting that last Saturday training session was the second activity of VYGA.
Also speaking, the regional education director, Momodou G. Jallow, lauded VYGA initiatives and expressed optimism that young people are very key to accomplishing this task.
He pointed out that many have the misconception that FGM is deeply rooted and cannot be eradicated but revealed that with education the problem will come to an end.
Director Jallow revealed that The Gambia is fortunate that both the previous and the present governments have political will to end the practice.
Momodou Keita, representative of the governor of West Coast Region, Bakary Sanyang applauded VYGA for organising the training session.
He said a lot has been said about the violence meted out to our daughters and sisters but encouraged the participants and VYGA to continue the activities.
He noted that the government has been hard and uncompromising in the fight against FGM and therefore recommended that they continue the good work.