The United Guardian Youth For Development (UGYD) recently concluded a two-day sensitisation for members of the security forces, community and religious leaders on laws relating to the ban of Female Genbital Mutilation (FGM) in the country.
The sensitization exercise was held in Basse,Upper River Region.
United Guardian Youth For Development is a youth organization established in 2008 and has been working on the promotion of guidance and counseling , social entrepreneurship and health and environment.
Omar Cham, the programme officer of UGYD, disclosed that the two-day event was designed to equip participants with the requisite knowledge especially on issues relating to the recent laws banning FGM.
He described young people as key and the most active sector of any meaningful economy as they represent about 60% of the country’s population.
“The empowerment of young people especially the girl child has been our driving force since inception” he added.
Abdoulie Singhateh, the Secretary General of UGYD, descbed the familarisation on anti FGM laws as timely and urged participants to work collectively to spread the message gained from the sensitisation.
“Female Genital Mutilation was ban in The Gambia following a Presidential pronouncement in December 2015 and we here to spread the message today”.
According to him, UGYD received a small grant from The Girl Generation worth USD2000.00 and it started in October and will continue for a period of six months, which includes the two-day in Basse and three radio programmes.
Ansu Kambi, the Director of TOSTAN, an NGO operating in Upper River Region, buttressed on the need for more of such trainings and urged the participants to be focus and make the best use of the knowlwdged gained.
“I am fortunate enough to visit all the districts in this region and people are on different dialogue and the same thing applies to the other regions. So I thank UGYD for the initiative,”he stated.
For his part, Musa Baldeh, who served as the programme Assistant of UGYD expressed similar sentiments.
“I believe with the banning of FGM those not mean it has ended we have to continue the journey”.
Alagie Jawara, on behalf of the Governor of the Region, hailed the move by UGYD, saying it is a right step geared towads arming the youth with laws in order to play their rightful role towards ending FGM in a generation.
Fatou Mballow, a participant, said now that they are equipped with the laws, they will include it in their usual outreaches in communities.
The facililators of the training where, Mr Fabakary Sanneh, the youth coordinator of Upper River Region and Muhammed A.H Bah of Activista-The Gambia.
by Fatoumatta K Saidykhan