Ms. Jabou Jawneh was a Community Empowerment Program (CEP) class participant, and is a Community Management Committee member and Social Mobilisation Agent in Sutukoba Community in The Gambia. In her Mandinka rural community of about 3,500 inhabitants, farming and petty trading is the main activity for many and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) was a strong traditional practice.
Thanks to Tostan´s programme, she learnt about the harmful consequences of FGC to the health and human rights of women and girls, which is why she joined other community members to sensitise and advocate for its abandonment.
“I joined Tostan classes in late 2017 until the end of 2020. Before, I had no idea what human rights, responsibility, health and problem-solving were all about, even less how to conduct community sensitization and sharing messages. After the first year, I had a better understanding about health complications of the practices of child marriage and FGC. I was convinced that it is harmful and decided to join other participants to share messages with our family members and friends in other communities. We were able to reach out to more than 25 non-CEP communities; at the end, 55 communities decided to declare their desire to abandon these harmful practices to respect the human rights of women and girls. Today, I am proud to be part of this movement that promotes the respect for human rights and dignity.” — Jabou Jawneh
This story has been created in the framework of Tostan’s 30th Anniversary. 30 stories will be published in 2021, celebrating the amazing Tostan’s Family. This is a way for us to honor communities and local leaders as well as our teams, partners, networks, donors and anyone who has joined us on this journey.