TYW, UNICEF Gambia Launch #TYWArtvocacy Project

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.

4th #TYW4Girls Mentorship Programme – Week 3

Ready, Set, Soar!

It’s already Week 3 of the 4th session in our #TYW4Girls Mentorship Programme! This week, we discussed Gender-Based Violence, with a specific focus on Violence Against Women and Girls.

We’re working with a unique group of 80 girls from different backgrounds, and understand the realities of the society we live in, as far as gender is concerned. Guided by the mentors, the girls worked in groups to discuss GBV, its different forms, how to protect themselves, and where to go to seek help. We were pleasantly surprised by how much they already know, and inspired by their ever-growing desire to learn more.

Our exercises in trust-building last week came in handy as they worked together to determine safe spaces among their groups, in their homes and schools, and within their immediate communities. They explored the concepts of sex, gender and gender roles, and what roles they can play in breaking the cycle of inequalities that often place girls and women at a disadvantage.

As mentors, we are always happy to learn from the girls and their experiences, as this helps us to keep providing them with the support and services they need to thrive and serve their communities. Certainly creating a new generation of women leaders!

Special thanks to UNFPA The Gambia for supporting us on this journey, and to State of Mic for the fun photo session.

TYW’S Aji Isatou Saho in Uganda for Building Bridges Training on FGM

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!

 

TYW Launches 4th Edition of Girls Mentorship Programme

The 4th session of our Girls’ Mentorship Programme has started, and we’re super excited! This cohort brings together 80 girls from Gambia Methodist Academy, Ndow’s Comprehensive, Kanifing East Upper Basic and Latrikunda Upper Basic Schools.

Today, we held the first session at L.K school, where the girls and our mentors had a chance to get to know one another, discover expectations and fears, as well as create guidelines for the next three months of our journey together.

We look forward to an amazing and inspiring time as we engage on issues relating to the lives of adolescent girls, while supporting them to discover their talents and use them to serve their communities and the country. We hope that the girls will make the best use of the safe space we have created to overcome their fears, beat the challenges, and thrive.

We continue to appreciate UNFPA The Gambia for their support, and for believing in our dream and mission to inspire and create a new generation of young women leaders. You can follow weekly updates from the programme online through the #TYW4Girls hashtag.

Our Girls Have Graduated!

Following three months of weekly training, bonding, inspiration and a beautiful sisterhood, our 40 brave girls have graduated from the third session of our Girls’ Mentorship Programme.

It’s been an incredible journey, and we couldn’t have been prouder of how far we have come with these amazing ladies from St. Theresa’s Upper Basic and Latrikunda Upper Basic Schools. Their performances at the graduation ceremony were a strong testimony of the journey we have shared with them, and we are excited to see what they do next.

We thank everyone who has supported us and the girls, as well as all partners who honored our invitation to celebrate our brave girls. Special mention to UNFPA The Gambia for believing in our vision to create a new generation of strong, bold, fearless and brave young women leaders. The stories from these girls speak for themselves.We are grateful!

Check out our Facebook album for more pictures.

 

TYW’s Aji Sainey Kah is Gambia’s 2017 MILEAD Fellow

We have exciting news!

Our Aji Sainey Kah has been selected as the 2017 MILEAD Fellow from The Gambia by the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa!

She made the list of 25 Most Outstanding Emerging Young African Women Leaders, after a competitive application process, and will bring great value to the network of MILEAD Fellows!

Think Young Women is absolutely proud of Aji Sainey, and will continue to support her journey as an exemplary leader! Congratulations!

TYW, TGA Engage Out-Of-School Girls and Young Mothers in CRR

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. 

Momodou Mboge, UNFPA Deputy Resident Representative

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. 

TYW Booth Campaign on FGM in URR

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.

 

International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 2016

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.

3rd #TYW4Girls Mentorship Programme – Week 9

Did you miss our girls?

The #TYW4Girls Mentorship Programme has reached its 9th week, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to connect with these girls who bring so much of themselves to the class, while remaining eager to learn new things.

Today, we had a quick stock-taking session, asking the girls to share what the program has meant to them so far, and how they’ll make use of the knowledge and experiences gained in the three months. We were thankful to read through their thoughts, and encouraged by their zeal to pay it forward.

Our discussion topic today was Child Protection, looking at definitions and various types, and focusing on Child Labour and Child Sex Tourism. These are both pressing and timely issues as we usher in the new tourist season, and also see more children being forced into labour for various reasons. The girls, led by Sister Mariama Johm, discussed the various concepts and thought of the ways in which they can contribute to efforts to reduce the number of children facing these issues.

Our goal is to keep opening their minds up to the realities around them, guiding them to make the right decisions, and providing them with the information they need to protect themselves and thrive. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of UNFPA The Gambia, our great partners in the journey to fulfill our vision for girls and women in The Gambia.

Enjoy the pictures from Week 9.