We’re happy to share the incredible Hear Her Story album, the result of our very exciting #TYWArtvocacy project, funded by UNICEF The Gambia. This project brought together 10 Gambian artists, and together, we explored the use of the arts (music and poetry) to inspire change to end FGM and Child Marriage.
The album comprises a total of 6 songs and 1 spoken word poetry piece, each one communicating the need to protect children from violence and commit to ending harmful cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage.
Enjoy the songs!
Think Young Women would like to thank all the artists involved in this project: A2 The Fulani King, Awa Bling, Bai Babu, Barhama, Bobo Diimo, Cess Ngum, Mariam Cham, Sophia, TSmallz, Fatima Gomez, and Pa Omar Jack.
We also thank Brand Plus for a stellar job in facilitating the artists to deliver quality results.
Ending FGM requires a multi-faceted approach, at the heart of which lies community engagement for sustainable impact. Our team is in the Upper River Region for a week, leading intensive community sensitization on Female Genital Mutilation. The activity targets communities in all districts of URR, with an aim to raise awareness on the dangers of FGM and inspire a shift to voluntary abandonment of the practice.
For the past three days, we have enjoyed the warm reception and goodwill of the leaders and people of Sandu and Jimara districts.
Our conversations focus on socio-cultural complexities, health complications, religious perspectives and the legal provisions relating to FGM in The Gambia, and are led by trained professionals in each domain. We are actively listening to the views of the people in these communities and working with them to find ways of appreciating our beautiful cultures and traditions while leaving behind practices that can be detrimental to the well-being of girls and women.
Again, we renew our appreciation to UNFPA The Gambia for investing in youth and supporting this activity. We’re grateful for all the support we have received as we work to end FGM, one community at a time.
Since inception, we have supported and partnered with various organisations in and outside The Gambia, in our work to advance the cause of women, and ensure the respect and fulfillment of the rights of women and girls. These partnerships have strengthened the impact of our work, and helped us to reach often marginalised groups with much-needed interventions and information.
In collaboration with our sister organisation The Girls’ Agenda, and with funding from UNFPA The Gambia, we successfully completed a training on teenage pregnancy and other forms of gender-based violence, targeting out-of-school girls and young mothers in the Central River Region. Participants were drawn from all districts in the region, and included victims and survivors of GBV, in various forms.
Education is empowerment. Together, we can protect women and girls and end all forms of GBV.
How do we end FGM and Child Marriage? There are so many ways and so many approaches.
With support from UNICEF Gambia, we have just concluded our third Booth Campaign on FGM and Child Marriage, targeting communities around Wassu and BrikamaBa in the Central River Region.
Our team of volunteers spent three days collecting data on the perceptions of people on FGM and Child Marriages, especially with new developments including the existence of legislation against the practices. The team also used the opportunity to sensitize communities on the dangers of these practices and the need to protect women and girls.
The information from the Booth Campaign will contribute to baseline data to guide in the design and implementation of strategies and interventions to help end FGM and Child Marriage in The Gambia.
We are grateful to the people of CRR, including the local government and the youth committee for welcoming and engaging with us, contributing immensely to a very successful campaign.
The last two days have been incredible! We are completely floored by the positive reception to our growing #TYWArtvocacy journey, working with Gambian artists as positive agents of change.
Together, we looked at the harmful effects of #FGM and #ChildMarriage, the sociocultural context, as well as the different ways in which we can engage with practicing communities to influence voluntary abandonment of these practices. The artists were also exposed to our ‘Do No Harm’ guidelines to ensure all messages are crafted with enough consideration to our cultural sensitivities and do not harm the targeted recipients.
The most beautiful experience has been seeing all the artists take ownership of this initiative, with strong commitments to use their voices and talents to sensitize communities and push for an end to these practices. They have already started crafting their songs, and we can’t wait to share the magic they create.
Thanks to Barhama Cham, Bai Babu, Awa Femcee Bling, A2 Di Fulani King, Sophia Byass, T Smallz Katato, Mariama Cham, Cess Ngom, Bobo Diimo and Fatima Gomez for the commitment and for sharing your incredible talent with us. Respect to Ya Sally Njie (Sista) and her BrandPlus for the excellent coordination. Many thanks to Mr Mass Laye and our sisters from The Girls’ Agenda for their contributions, too.
Our gratitude to our donors UNICEF Gambia, for bringing this concept to reality. We look forward to giving new wings to even more innovative ideas.
Today, they also joined the #Youth4Peace campaign as part of International Youth Day commemorations. Here are a few photos. Stay connected to the page for more updates on this journey.
Think Young Women is working in partnership with UNICEF in The Gambia to explore creative means of ending the practice of FGM and Child Marriage in the country. Today, we commence a two-day #TYWArtvocacy training on FGM and Child Marriages with 9 Gambian musicians and 1 young poet.
TYW has explored artvocacy as a means of influencing positive change, and we are glad to expand this engagement to reach more Gambian artists and draw them into the work we do. Their art has the power to reach people across all platforms, breaking all barriers to share transformative messages to end all harmful practices against girls and women.
We’re happy that these artists have answered this call, through the coordination of Brand Plus, and are excited to spend the next two days learning and exploring new creative and innovative ways of message sharing. We can’t wait to see the magic they create.
Many thanks to Lamin Darboe and the Gambia National Youth Council for the consistent support to our work at TYW.
Our gratitude to UNICEF The Gambia for supporting this project, and walking with us on our journey to inspire sustainable and lasting change, for the benefit of all girls and women in The Gambia.
TYW Finance Officer, Aji Isatou Saho, has just completed an intensive training to create and produce videos on Female Genital Mutilation, held in Kampala- Uganda.
Aji Isatou was trained on the use of mobile phones and other equipment to create compelling videos on FGM, contributing to advocacy and sensitization efforts to end the practice. Given the significant role of the media in shifting social norms and influencing positive behavioral change, these skills will further enhance the work we do at Think Young Women, as we amplify and position survivor stories at the forefront of our efforts.
At the end of the training, participants are expected to work on projects, demonstrating understanding and putting their newly-acquired skills to great use. We’re excited about the prospects of this added value to our work, and can’t wait to get even more creative!
Innovation for results is the sure way to go. Together, we can #EndFGM!
Think Young Women, in partnership with The Girls’ Agenda are working with 20 out-of-school girls and young mothers on Gender-Based Violence, Teenage Pregnancy and FGM .
The training, funded by UNFPA The Gambia, is hosted in Janjanbureh, Central River Region and brings together participants from across the country. By the end of the activity, the participants will be equipped with better awareness and understanding of the selected topics, while enjoying a safe space to share their stories and provide support for one another, without fear of discrimination or other degrading behaviours.
The two organisations will support the selected participants to develop their personalities, build confidence, and encourage them to go back to school, where possible. With the right support, this often marginalised group can turn their fate around and contribute to their personal development and the country’s progress.
Think Young Women recently secured funding from Amplify Change to implement activities contributing to the work being done to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in The Gambia.
As part of this agreement, TYW is conducting a market sensitization & data collection exercise on FGM, dubbed the Booth Campaign. Our data collectors are hard at work, administering questionnaires to gauge the perception of the people on FGM.
We have a team of trained specialists also speaking to people on the harmful effects of FGM, and how we all have a role to play to #EndFGM.
Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030”.
Globally, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM. The Gambia records the highest prevalence of FGM among girls aged 14 and younger. Many girls are still at risk of getting cut.
At Think Young Women, we remain committed to using the best approaches to reach practicing communities with empowering messages, and help to change their perceptions on FGM. Empowering them with information on the harmful effects of FGM places them in a position to make informed decisions to abandon the practice and protect girls and women.
We take this opportunity to thank our friends, partners and donors for the support given to us to reach young people with positive messages to inspire an end to FGM in a generation. We appreciate the assistance from UNFPA The Gambia and . Your contributions have been immeasurable.
We believe that when we come together and employ various means and approaches, we can end FGM. It starts with us.