Billy Town — River - As part of efforts to commemorate the International Female Genital Mutilation Day in Liberia, a program jointly implemented by ANPPCAN, SEARCH, DCI and YOCEL to carry on awareness about FGM was held recently at the Billy Town Public School in Po-River, Montserrado County.
The project named, 'Preventing Violence against Children', was funded by Kids Rights Foundation. Kids Rights Foundation is an international children's aid and advocacy organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The theme of the day celebration was "Invest in Teenagers, Girls and Boys, Through Training and Information, in Order to Ensure the Realization of the Objective Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation by 2030."
Speaking at the event, the Gender Coordinator at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Madam Atrina Sirleaf, praised the people of Billy Town especially the elders for coming out in their numbers to get involved in the conversation of female genital mutilation.
Madam Sirleaf further said the government cannot do it on her own but relying on the help of every citizen to curtail what she terms as awkward cultural practice in the society.
"Liberia has a unique culture that needs to be preserved but some of our cultural practices are not good especially in this modern time," she said.
Sirleaf added that people are not abiding by the government's mandates that all 'bush schools' should be taken more than 35 miles away from the towns.
Because of that she disclosed that a new memorandum of understanding has been signed by traditional leaders to put a hold on the practice of female genital in the country for now.
"The government has suspended all practices of female genital mutilations in the country. These are some things that the government is putting in place to get rid of female genital mutilation by 2030," the Gender Coordinator at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said.
Also speaking, the chair of the National Children and Youth Advisory Broad, Pauline Faith Gartor, said the youths need to get involved in order to end what she termed as danger affecting young girls.
"The youths have the energy to change things. Let the young people get involved in the planning, the implementation and also the execution of every project leading toward ending FGM in the country," Gartor stated.
Also, many participants praised the organizers of the program reaching out to educate them about the effect of FGM.
Mark Sumo, father of 3, said: "The more we get to learn about these kinds of thing, the issue of FGM will reduce."