By Sailu Bah & Sarjo Camara A Multimedia campaign was Friday launched by a leading British Media outlet in the Gambia to end Female Genital Mutilation in the Gambia. This event was held at the Senegambia Beach Hotel, Friday 30 January 2015.The occasion was attended by Media personnel from both Print and Electronic, Activists, The Guardian media representatives and a UNFPA representative. Speaking at the occasion Maggie O’Kane Guardian Media Coordinator underscored the importance of media in the fight against FGM. Madam Kane further said that Media can help in being part of the campaigners to help the information reach where it should reach. She said over the past year, the Guardian has used its international media reputation to campaign along with key progressive African media and political leaders to end Female Genital Mutilation. “Our media partners in African countries such as Gambia and Kenya have led the way. Three months ago we joined with Kenyan media to work with their guidance, to support media houses and politicians who were speaking out against FGM. This followed on from work with progressive media in the US and the UK who have campaigned successfully with the British and the US governments to educate schoolchildren about FGM,” said Maggie O’Kane Guardian Media Coordinator She said In Africa, they are focusing on Gambia, where the Safe Hands for Girls charity has pioneered new ways of working towards an end to FGM. Adding that The Gambia model focuses on campaigners travelling around the country educating people about the dangers of FGM and the negative impact it has on the lives of young women. She further explained that The Gambian model could be a prototype for other African countries. “It is pioneered by Gambian campaigner Jaha Dukureh and is supported by the international Girl Generation movement against FGM. Jaha’s work has been endorsed by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, who told the Guardian in a recent interview: What Jaha Dukureh is doing in Gambia is an inspiration to all of Africa. I will do all I can to help her struggle and commit the UN to supporting her pioneering work in Gambia,” she explained. She revealed that Mr Ki-moon has invited Jaha to meet him next month in New York to discuss how the UN can help expand the Gambian model across Africa. She said her media is here to support the Gambia model – and along with the UN and Ban Ki-moon to hear from the Gambian government, the media and activists how best to learn from it. She also challenged Gambian media to be part of the campaign. She pledges on behalf of her media that, her media will give a cash prize of D80,000 to the best reporter. Media houses both electronic and the print media will also be given an award for the best in their involvement in the fight against FGM. Marie Jaha Dukureh Executive Director Safe Hands For girls stated the importance of fighting against FGM. She also explained the difficulties she faces when she started the fight, and how she got discouraged but later decided to move on with the fight. She said now she has achieved a lot in it. She also underscored the dangers of FGM which she said can cause harmful health complications. Haruna Drammeh Proprietor of Paradise FM, thanked the Guardian for their good initiative. He said The Guardian is not only focusing on reporting but investing their resources to join the fight against FGM in the whole world particularly in Africa. He reaffirmed his support and commitment to this fight and promised to do his best in the dissemination of the issue of FGM.]]>
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