#National News

FANTANKA breaking barriers on SGBV, SRH

Sep 15, 2021, 4:26 PM

FANTANKA, is a non-governmental organisation established in December 2018 to close the gap in Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Rights awareness-raising and advocacy in the country.

Since establishment, the organisation which comprised dedicated team in the areas of  Psychosocial Support and young advocates have reached out to many communities, especially youths on the importance of sexual and reproductive health issues and how to deal with Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

Mariama Jobarteh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fakanta explained that in addition, and in line with its values of supporting and empowering victims of abuse, the organisation has worked with and supported women and victims of human rights violations.

“Fantanka has also provided a number of psychosocial support interventions to victims of sexual and gender-based violence and other human rights violations.”

While interacting with victims, she disclosed that the organisation was able to gather insight about numerous SGBV challenges women face in various settings such as in the case of women traders, employees in both government and private institutions, and girls in school and other institutional and informal settings.

This, she added, helps them to provide support in the form of psycho-education, support groups, and counseling to assist them in their healing processes after the trauma they endured.

“With support from the UNFPA, Fantanka has also been conducting Out-of-School Comprehensive Sexuality Education with persons living with disabilities, youths, women groups, beach youths and Civil Society Organizations. This program included teaching participants about maintaining personal boundaries, understanding the nature, benefits and risks in different relationships, the risks and dangers of STI, unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions etc.”

She indicated that women, girls, boys, and men were all enlightened on those subjects and how best they could prevent SGBV as well as how to encourage and support victims of SGBV to come forward and access needed help and redress.

“These activities have covered both rural and urban communities. Currently, Fantanka is providing training to promote parent and child sexuality communication to different institutions in The Gambia. With support from CSVR, a South African-based NGO, Fantanka has a female counselling psychologist and Senior MHPSS practitioner, who provide technical expertise to the MHPSS component of the organisation’s work.”