Tostan currently implements its holistic, 30-month, education program, the Community Empowerment Program (CEP), in eight African countries including the Republic of Djibouti, a small country on the eastern coast of the continent. Last month, representatives from the UNICEF headquarters in New York paid a visit to a Tostan center supported by The Joint Programme of UNICEF and UNFPA in Djibouti City, the country’s capital. The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Cutting (FGC) aims to contribute to the accelerated abandonment of FGC in 17 African countries and supports many organizations concerned with the abandonment of such harmful traditional practices, including Tostan. Catch a glimpse of their visit!
Francesca Moneti (center), UNICEF’s Sr. Child Rights Officer, and Caroline Bacquet-Walsh (far right), UNICEF Program Officer in Child Protection, met on May 15, 2010 with Mory Camara (left), National Coordinator for Tostan Djibouti and Fathia Oumar, UNICEF Program Officer for UNICEF in Djibouti.
In the Tostan center where blackboards still boast the colorful script of past lessons taught in local languages, Moneti talks with CMC members and their children.
Moneti and Bacquet-Walsh are shown photos of activities led by the Community Management Committee (CMC). The CMC, a group of 17 democratically elected members from the local community, helps to facilitate income generating activities through a microcredit system. They also help to diffuse information to neighboring communities on issues like health, hygiene, literacy, human rights, and problem solving learned through Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program.
Moneti and Bacquet-Walsh pose with members of the CMC after an engaging visit.
Story by Sydney Skov, Tostan Volunteer in Dakar, Senegal