On May 8th, community as well as Tostan team members gathered in Mbour, Senegal for an event that celebrated the positive changes occurring in the region: namely, a public declaration for the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage.

Of the 22 communities that declared their abandonment of these practices, 10 participated in Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) and 12 received knowledge and access to resources discussed in the CEP through the process of organized diffusion.

After several festive dance and drama performances, followed by inspirational speeches from community leaders and Molly Melching, Tostan’s Founder and Executive Director, the declaration was read in Mandinke, Dioula, Pulaar, and French.  This declaration highlighted the brave and inspiring commitment these communities have made to protect the rights of women and girls, to continue to work together to address challenges facing the community, and to implement projects that they believe will improve their quality of life.

To read more about the significance of the Mbour Declaration, click here.