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GAMBIA: Nineteen Ex-Circumcisers Received Benefits

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the health of women and childrenGAMCOTRAP, with support from the Inter African Committee on Traditional Practices based in Addis Ababa has provided over one hundred thousand Dalasi to nineteen Circumcisers from the Upper and Central River Regions to engage in Alternative Employment Opportunities Project.

The Chief of Kantora, Alhajie Bachu Ceesay of Garawol, Alkalo Lasana Manneh of Basse Manneh Kunda amongst others reminded the circumcisers that they voluntarily stopped the practice of FGM after getting the facts about the effects it has on sexual and reproductive health and called on them to make best use of the opportunity provided to them to enhance their economic status. The Alkalo of Kaba Kama, Aja Fatou Danso who was part of the delegation that witnessed the presentations, commended GAMCOTRAP for the approach it takes to present facts on FGM with respect and dignity in the communities. She noted that the support given to the Circumcisers will go a long way towards addressing poverty in their families while protecting girls from harm.

Speaking at the presentations the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray, said the process involved series of training to create awareness amongst circumcisers on the effects of female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices, microfinance before the presentation of the AEO. She called on the communities to support the circumcisers and emphasized the need for bringing up girls in a positive manner to be good role models in society without harm.

In receiving the support, all the beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to GAMCOTRAP for fulfilling its promise. They vowed to keep to their words to protect girl children from FGM. The support was based on a feasibility study amongst beneficiaries, followed by training on microfinance and management of small scale business enterprises. The circumcisers identified animal rearing, petty trading, Pottery, tie and dye and support to develop gardening as their areas of interest.

The Circumcisers who benefited are Dusu Kanteh and Nyama Damba of Manneh Kunda, Mariama Samura of Kaba Kama, Aja Mabintou Bahaga of Tinkinjo, Jonfolo Fofana of Chamoi, Jibel Kandeh of Samba Kunda, Koreh Sanyang of Sare Mamadi, Hulay Damba of Simoto Touba, Hatou Kanteh and Bai Kanteh of Garawol, Sunkaru Damba of Tambasansang, Kumbayel Sowe of Keneba Kantora, Kani Kanteh and Isatou Damba of Kanube, Penda Damba and Haja Bintou Sinera of Gunjur Kuta, Sira Janko of Kundam Mafatty, all of URR and Aja Fanta Jawneh of Dobong Kunda and Siya Fatty Bantanto in CRR.

The cash presentations were witnessed by eleven different Alkalolu, women's leaders and family members of the circumcisers who have decided to stop practicing female genital mutilation.

SOURCE: The Point

AUTHOR: Sarata J-Dibba

URL: Click here

DATE: 28/05/2008

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