We talk a lot about public declarations at Tostan, and rightly so. It often takes years of Tostan facilitated discussions on human rights, health and hygiene before communities unite in their decision to abandon female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage. In the run up, planning and preparation both here in Dakar, where our headquarters are located, and at the regional coordination where the public declaration is to be held, ensures that the event runs smoothly. Everything from the transportation of attendants from across Senegal and beyond to the traditional ceebu yapp dish of rice and meat devoured after the event, is painstakingly organized by participant communities, staff, and volunteers. Due to the nature of Tostan’s work and our mission to support capacity building of those least connected to metropolitan society, this often means these landmark gatherings are in the most remote corners of the countries in which we work.
|Women community leaders marched through the |
village holding a banner declaring "We can fully abandon
FGC in Senegal."