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GAMCOTRAP supports Makka Masireh community

Dec 14, 2009, 2:43 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices GAMCOTRAP recently inaugurated a new milling machine in the village of Makka Masireh in Wuli East District of Upper River Region.

The labour saving device was funded by the German Embassy in Dakar through its Banjul Office and was logged on behalf of the community by the GAMCOTRAP.

One hundred girls protected from the scourge of Female Genital Mutilation were paraded to welcome the delegates with singing and dancing, thus manifesting their happiness with the development.

The protected children were among representatives from fifteen communities neighbouring Makka Masireh.

In her inaugural speech, a representative of the German Embassy, Ms Anita Martin said that the support was meant to bring to attention the efforts of the GAMCOTRAP in creating awareness to end Female Genital Mutilation.

She noted that while there is a need to respect Gambian culture, efforts should be made to protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful practices and help them realise their full potential.

The German representative informed the gathering that the Federal Republic of Germany is firmly against the practice of FGM and is pleased to be working with Gambians to end it. She noted that for both the government of The Gambia and Germany, Female Genital Mutilation is a matter of health that affects the maternal and reproductive health of women and girls, as well as the abuse of internationally-recognised human rights conventions and standards.

For her part, the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr.Isatou Touray, commended the German embassy for funding the project. She hailed the community for the timely and successful completion of the project. She also thanked the people of Makka Masireh for providing labour for the construction of the building, describing it as an indication of their support to alleviate the drudgery of processing cereal on women.

She said that they have realised that the Makka Masireh cluster is one of the remote and socially excluded areas in the country and the women are multi-tasked with difficult chores.

"They are faced with the task of the triple roles of reproduction, production and community management," she remarked.

She thanked the ex-circumciser, Kumba Damba of Makka Masireh for the bold step she has undertaken to drop the knife, and her foresight in appealing for a milling machine, which she said, would benefit the communities that support her strive to stop FGM

In her words of appreciation to the GAMCOTRAP, the release went on, Kumba Damba noted that it was through her awareness creation that she saw the need to stop Female Genital Mutilation along with all the communities she served. She expressed joy in witnessing the inauguration of the milling machine that will benefit the Makka Masireh cluster communities.

The GAMCOTRAP community based facilitator for the area, Nafa Jabbai, read a declaration on behalf of the Makka Masireh youths for naming their football team after GAMCOTRAP.