WFT tours Gambian Schools advocating for better Sexual Health

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

Context

Women’s Foundation Trust (WFT) is a Gambian Organisation founded by Etta Haffener Allen, a Gambian based in the United Kingdom. The organisation has been working in the Gambia since 2016 to promote better sexual health, personal hygiene and advocate against rape and sexual abuse in schools in The Gambia.

This article focuses on an event organised by the WFT’s Young Leaders who made presentations on what they learned about better Sexual Health. The presentations were in the form of acting, drama, poetry, miming and spoken word and focused on Female Genital Mutilation, prevention and protection Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV/ Aids, personal hygiene and Sexual Abuse. Other speakers at the event included Mr. Ernesto Allen a teacher in the UK and Gainako’s Flex Dan.

Performance Arts

Below are two of their performances. The performance in the video below is on peer pressure towards sex and the A, B, Cs of prevention and protection of STDs.

The performance in the video below is on Female Genital Mutilation and encouraging the community to drop the knife.

WFT’s Young Leaders Speak

Below is an exclusive interview with two WFT Young Leaders, namely Yusupha Jatta (VP of WFT Young Leaders) and Fatima Gomez (WFT Young Leaders member).

WFT Founder and Organiser

Below is an exclusive interview with WFT’s Founder on the organisation, their trip to The Gambia, the school tour and the future of the organisation.

Below is an exclusive interview with WFT’s Young Leaders organiser and teacher at St. Theresa’s, Mr. Johnson.

African Parents and Sexual Education

As I watched the performances and discussed with a lady from the UK who had repatriated to The Gambia we spoke about the importance of sexual education from parents at home. The lady explained that she had sufficient sexual education from her parents while I had very little sexual education from my parents. We both concluded that due to the culture and taboo around sex in African families most African parents don’t engage their children on the dangers of unprotected sex.

As a minimum, African parents should speak to their children about the A, B, Cs of sexual prevention and protection against STDs. The best option is to Abstain, Be Faithful and in the last resort use a Condom. At the start, both child and parent may feel awkward discussing the topic but over time it will become normal and parents can better save their child from contracting STDs due to lack of sexual education.

It’s not clear why African parents refuse to engage their children on sexual education. However, it’s well known that children are naturally curious and African parents may be concerned that such topics may encourage them to practice early sex. Our message to parents is that the world is changing and the risk of contracting STDs are increasing therefore, it’s more important to save your child’s life with timely information.

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