Jan 7, 2009, 7:12 AM
UNICEF Country Representative in The Gambia, Ms Min Whee Kan, has expressed delight over the demonstration of the communities of people of Sandu and Wuli West Districts in the Upper River Region for coming out openly for the publicly declaring their readiness to abandon Female Genital Cutting.
The UNICEF Rep made this statement while delivering her speech at the celebration of the Darsilameh Declaration for the abandonment of Female Genital Cutting by the 24 villages and communities in said Districts. She described the move as a great solidarity and commitment from the communities.
According to her, UNICEF is indeed please to be associated with this historic event which, she said, it is the first in a series of declarations for the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting by the people of the
She commended the government of The Gambia for their exemplary leadership in fostering effective partnership with UNICEF and TOSTAN International towards promoting community empowerment and development in The Gambia.
"We UNICEF are privileged and are pleased to witness the beginning of the historic movement for the collective mutilation and cutting and child forced-marriage, as by this Darsalameh mini-declaration that took place over the weekend in Sandu district U.R.R," she stated.
She further commended the 24 communities for partaking in the Darsilameh Declaration.
She stated that as development partners UNICEF will provide further support for the continuation of the programmes.
The UNICEF Country Representative revealed that there will be further declarations in other communities.
She noted that a great demonstration by these communities had encouraged UNICEF and its implementing partners to continue their unflinching support to increase the level of awareness within the communities. She said the project is implemented by TOSTAN-Gambia that aims to educate and empower communities to take ownership of their social transformation.