The following is a translated summary of the article, “Brakna: Houdallaye: Tostan sensibilise les repatriés du Sénégal sur le contenu de ses projets” by Abdoulaye Dia in CRIDEM magazine.  Read the full article in French on the CRIDEM website.

On January 27th, 2013, Tostan Mauritania held an inter-village meeting in the community of Houdallaye. The meeting brought together Tostan supervisors, government representatives, Community Empowerment Program (CEP) participants, and representatives from 13 surrounding villages not participating in the CEP in order to share themes from the program and encourage the villages to participate in an upcoming declaration for the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage.

The 13 villages invited to the meeting were made up of Mauritanians who had been repatriated after living for nearly two decades in refugee camps in neighboring Senegal following the 1989 border war between the two countries. Since their repatriation five years ago by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), these communities make up some of the most marginalized populations in the country.

Bâ Adama, the mayor of the Commune of Boghé, presided over the event, and praised Tostan during his speech for its “dynamism and commitment to helping the communities, especially towards the abandonment of harmful practices such as FGC.”

Hawa Amadou Ndiaye, the  CMC coordinator of Houdallaye, spoke about awareness-raising activities led by her community, and participated in theater presentations along with other CEP participants about violence against women and the negative consequences of child/forced marriage.