Hands for Girls yesterday held a meeting on the Development of Large Scale
Programme for girls at the Kairaba Beach Hotel under the theme “Reaching the
Poorest Adolescent Girls in the poorest communities in The Gambia.”
The sole aim of the event was to create awareness and commit people in increasing investments in girls during their adolescence through schooling, the creation of safe and supportive spaces and to lay the foundations for their roles and to address the still high proportion of girls who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.
The meeting that was funded by Safe Hands for Girls, UNFPA Gambia, and Novo Foundation Population Council brought together partners from government and Civil Society Organizations as well as community-based Organisations throughout the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sait Matty Jaw, National Coordinator said that at Safe Hands for Girls, they feel that this was one of the biggest events they have partnered to organise in the country.
He added that they are very proud and very happy for the opportunities it brings to the country, particularly the adolescent girls in the poorest communities.
He said working together with partners was the way challenges confronting the girl child in The Gambia could be addressed through proper planning backed by evidence to create the needed impact.
In her keynote speech, Mrs Claudiana Cole, Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, said that all girls in The Gambia have rights and needs and they are principally concerned with the most excluded girls, the off-track girls, those who are living with single or no parent.
She said investments in girls’ adolescence, including but not limited to their education, is an investment in a foundation for a just and inclusive society, thriving economy and a better balance of population and resources.
She added that anything less was in effect, planned poverty.