On Tuesday August 29, 2023, the administrative and local authorities of the Médina Yoro Foulah department organized a departmental day to confirm the commitment of the department’s local authorities to the well-being and protection of children.
Organized in collaboration with Tostan, and with technical and financial support from UNICEF and Hewlett, this day aims to reinforce the inclusion of children’s rights in CSR policies and strategies, and the civic engagement of adolescents in the development and governance of their communities.
The day began with a ceremonial opening by the mayor of Médina Yoro Foulah, followed by an inspiring and instructive sketch by the children (adolescents) to raise parents’ awareness of the importance of keeping girls in school, and the key role of the Children’s Municipal Council (CME) and local authorities. The skit ended with songs in Pular, echoing the main messages of the memorandum presented to the prefect.
The various speakers at the ceremony expressed their gratitude to Tostan and UNICEF for their role in building the capacities of local elected representatives, and their pleas to parents to abandon early marriage and keep their children in school. One of the highlights of the ceremony was undoubtedly the poignant plea by the representative of the Vélingara Departmental Council for the replication of the ECRD model in his area.
All in all, the day was a success, with a great turnout and commitments already materialized in :
- Deliberations to set up the CMEs by the department’s 11 CTs
- the inclusion of children’s needs in commune budgets
- Strengthening the skills of municipal councillors;
- Increased awareness-raising activities organized by the CME on the importance of civil status for all children, and of their education by keeping young girls in school and abandoning early marriages.
As Mr. Kalidou SY, mayor and high councillor of Médina Yoro Foulah, so aptly put it:
Tostan naabei one diarama, one mbeltanama…Thank you Tostan, we’re happy with you.
Photo diary from the event