Friday, November 4, 2011

FGM: GAMCOTRAP Trains More Than 300 Youths

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, GAMTROP has engaged more that three hundred youth across the West Coast Region on information campaign to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with youth. 
The sensitization training dates were as follows 21st, at GAMCOTRAP Head office, 22nd, Wellengara Cinema hall and 23rd at Sukuta Health Centre respectively. 
     Speaking at both sensitization training meetings, the executive director of Gamcotrap, Dr Isatou Touray,  commended the youth for what she described their positive respond to their invitation to attend the training.
   She continued, “I am very much happy to welcome all of you (participants) to this important forum designed for young people who are leaders of today and tomorrow.”
According to her, addressing FGM, youth need to empowered for them to make right choices and make good decisions.
   She added that empowering youth in FGM, will make them to know their health conditions as FGM has many health consequences noting that FGM is affecting many young girls in today’s world which The Gambia is witnessing.
    She also made it clear to the youths that at Gamcotrap, they support youth initiative programmes noting that they has train a good number of young people who are now serving as cluster monitors in their respective communities.
    According to her, Gamcotrap with support from donors, they also trained girls and boys, saying that the purpose of training them is that will one day be mothers and fathers in their communities.
Therefore, empowering them with knowledge, will guide them in their lives as fathers and mother if the time comes.
 She told participants that cultural practices that harmful in our societies should be stopped saying that ‘we need to eradicate all harmful practices that are determined to our society and adopt practices that inline with our good health conditions.”
She remarked that as youths, they have to prepare for the campaign against FGM so as to make The Gambia a country that is free from harmful traditional practices adding that,  “we need to build a smooth road for the coming generation.”
  At Gamcotrap, Dr. Touray said they have initiated activities that youth can take as ownership adding that Gamcotrap is working closely with youth to empower them, so as for them to take ownership of all youth activities they are doing at their office, going further, she said Gamcotrap, “we have youth section that deals and engages youths across the country on youths activities.’
   She also told the participants to believe in their culture, understand them and critically analyse and improve them in the best interest of the future generation stating that the youths are very important and critical in any meaningful development; they (youths) are the leaders of today and tomorrow.          Going further, Dr. Touray advised the youths to always use dialogue and respect their parents in advocating for abolition of FGM, she went further to explained that Gamcotrap is committed to the promotion and protection of women and girl children and their political, social, educational and sexual reproduction and health rights, she positioned.
     She informed a good number of young people that that knowledge is power, while advising them to seek knowledge in order to be conscious with something that is not known to them before.
   Again, she urged the youths to engaged their parents; fathers, mothers, uncles etc in dialogue and be pinpointing issues about FGM to them, but was quick to tell them to respect the opinions of their parents.
   Dembo Kambi chairperson West Coast Youth Regional Committee told young peoples to cast away the practice of FGM putting to them that FGM has serious health consequences.
According to him, as young people, they need to be ambassadors in whatever they are doing or engage in as they can champion any meaningful development.
 He said as youths, they also need to know their reproductive health system and to have a better understanding of health implications that can affect their reproductive health.

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