Monday, June 16, 2014

Students from USA and UK visit GAMCOTRAP

Dr Toury

The work of GAMCOTRAP continues to generate attention both within and outside the Gambia. Students alongside their professors from Juniata College and Texas A&M University in the US visited GAMCOTRAP on the 23rd and 26th respectively. The aim of the visits is to know the work of the organization, its challenges and the successes made over the years.  Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP

Dr. Isatou Touray, welcomed the visiting students and their professors and said that the doors of her organization is open to everyone irrespective race or nationality. This invitation resulted to GAMCOTRAP hosting of several interns around the world. She emphasized the need for more collaborative efforts both locally and internationally in the fight against FGM and other harmful traditional practices. The students were briefed on the work of GAMCOTRAP and strategies being used that resulted to tremendous achievement of 4 public declarations during which 128 ex-circumcisers supported by 900 communities have dropped the knife to end FGM.
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The discussions are characterized by a presentation on the effects of FGM followed by questions and answers in a very interactive way. The visitors were overwhelmed with the ongoing advocacy at the grassroots and declared that they too have a role to play because women’s rights are human rights. 

Professor Emil Nagengast from Juniata College in USA led his group in a visit to GAMCOTRAP on Friday, 23rd May, 2014.  Over the past years, the organization has been receiving students from the college and this has cemented the relationship between the College and GAMCOTRAP.  Students from College are enrolled as interns and this provide mutual benefit, in terms of experience sharing and knowledge building.  Dr. Touray, expressed appreciation to Professor Nagengast and his team for the hospitality rendered during her visit in April, 2014 where she gave lectures on FGM and the work of her organization. She stated that FGM is a development issue and cuts across racial and geographical boundaries and thus making it a global agenda. Dr. Touray believes that everybody can contribute in the fight against FGM and other harmful traditional practices because ‘a woman affected in the Gambia affects the whole world’. The students got inspired and thanked GAMCOTRAP for the noble cause it is fighting and for sharing their work with them. They made a cash donation to GAMCOTRAP as a sign of gratitude and support to the work it does.

On a similar note, another group of students together with Dr. Corliss W. Outley, Associate Professor, Youth Development Program from Texas A&M University in USA also visited GAMCOTRAP on Monday, 26th May, 2014. The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr Isatou Touray in welcoming them gave a brief history about the organization working in promoting the rights of women and girl-children. She noted the sensitivity of the work GAMCOTRAP does on FGM while emphasizing it as a development issue in which everyone has a role to play. FGM she said is a global issue that needs everybody’s attention and contribution in order to eradicate the practice because it is affecting the health and wellbeing of women and girls. The visitors also showed appreciation to the work GAMCOTRAP is doing at the grassroots and as well pledged to contribute to the global campaign against FGM and other harmful traditional practices.
A group of thirty students from De Montfort University in the United Kingdom visited GAMCOTRAP on the 10th January, 2014. They were led by a well known Gambian Scholar– Dr. Momodou Sallah who is based in the UK. The group was also accompanied by members of Global Hands UK and their sister organization Global Hands The Gambia. The one day visit was to expose them to the work of the organization and to share best practices.

The students were from different disciplines gained some knowledge in their various areas of interest. They wanted to deepen their understanding on the practice of FGM and its related consequences. 

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