On Wednesday, October 14th Mbolo Birane, a school located in Northern Senegal, hosted an awareness-raising campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to provide information to young people about the harmful consequences of female genital cutting (FGC)—especially as many would be future parents—as well as child/forced marriage. This campaign was made possible through Tostan’s partnership with the Orchid Project.
Several community members from surrounding villages such as Mbolo Ali Sidi, Thilambol Dir Mbodia, and Boguel Beli Edy gathered in the school. There were 79 total participants, including students, parents of students, the school principal, teachers, the president of the Parent-Teachers Association, health professionals, municipal council members, and Bajjen Gox (health agents).
The deputy mayor opened the ceremony. Teachers, local administrators, parents, and students facilitated discussions and activities throughout the day. All the teachers spoke about witnessing some of their students suffering from the health consequences of FGC and child/forced marriage. During the discussion, parents recognized the seriousness of these practices. Communities encouraged more campaigns like this one in other communities to ensure that the right information would be spread.
This campaign is the first of the year in this area; the national coordination of Tostan in Matam is planning at least two more campaigns in the following months.