The following is a translated summary of the article,  » Aleg : Tostan sensibilise les chefs de services régionaux sur le contenu de son programme en Mauritanie » by Abdoulaye Dia in CRIDEM magazine.

On January 21 st, 2013 Tostan Mauritania organized a seminar at their office in Aleg for local government officials about the approach and content of the Community Empowerment Program (CEP).

The seminar was led by Mamadou Baba Aw, the National Coordinator of Tostan Mauritania. He spoke about the history of Tostan, with a focus on the program’s implementation in Mauritania, which began in 2007 and works in the Brakna region. Mamadou explained to the officials how Tostan has empowered local communities through human rights education, and how the Community Management Committees (CMCs) take on responsibilities for their community through leading social mobilization and income generating activities. Mamadou also shared how the CEP has proven an effective tool for promoting the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) in Mauritania, with 78 communities declaring their abandonment of the practice along with the abandonment of child/forced marriage in May 2010.

The local authorities were also briefed on the details of Tostan Mauritania’s current project, “Empowering Mauritanian Communities to Promote the Abandonment of FGC: 2010 – 2013,” in partnership with UNICEF and the local NGO Fondation, Fati. This project operates CEP classes in 30 communities in the Brakna region, working in both Hassaniya Arabic and Pulaar speaking villages. Two CMC coordinators were present at the seminar as well, giving the authorities the opportunity to hear about the program from participants. The coordinators spoke about how the program had taught communities about a wide variety of topics, and were especially happy about how many community members had learned how to read and write through the program.

Read the full article in French on the CRIDEM website.