On 16 October 2012, Tostan Mauritania held an inter-village meeting to plan for the upcoming declaration for the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage. Learn more by reading the following synopsis or the original article in French by Dia Abdoulaye posted on www.cridem.org.

Tostan was joined by representatives from 30 communities on October 16, 2012 in Ganki-Djery of the Boghé district in Mauritania for an inter-village meeting to discuss the possibility of a public declaration to abandon Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage. Mamadou Baba Aw, the National Coordinator for Tostan in Mauritania, was joined by supervisors, facilitators and Community Management Committees (CMC) to discuss practical steps for Tostan and the communities in order to make a public declaration in 2013.

Since 2007, Tostan has worked in 108 communities to empower communities by teaching participants about human rights, hygiene, health, literacy, and management in order to change behaviors.  Local leaders have responded very well to Tostan’s holistic approach resulting in a successful meeting and discussion.  The Deputy Mayor of Boghé, Djibril Ndiaye Malal, even praised Tostan for its approach and use of local languages.

The meeting was also an opportunity for participants to discuss how they had been impacted by Tostan’s program.  Mariam Aly, CMC coordianator in Ganki, was one of the hosts of the meeting and was pleased to have the support of her local community and national efforts to address harmful traditional practices.

Now, the goal is to involve religious leaders and the rest of the communities in the public declaration.  This will be achieved through the dissemination of information through public and private media in addition to raising awareness within ones local community.  Despite the sweltering heat, the inter-village meeting was a success and a reminder of how far the communities have come since they first started the CEP.