September 8, 2010
Hindowa E. Saidu / Sierra Express Media
Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development FDID is happy that other well meaning organizations have joined in the fight against FGM.
Let me use this opportunity to applaud AMNET and UNDP in their collaborative effort which led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the heads of the Bondo society” Soweis” in the Port Loko district.
FGM has been a serious concern and it continues to be a serious concern for all of us as a nation.
Even as I am putting pen to paper an initiation ceremony is taking place at Dowsaz farm here in the country’s capital. It is heart rendering to note that there are initiates as young as age nine undergoing this very harmful traditional practice. One thing we want to make clear is that we are not fighting the traditional beliefs of our people but it is rather too crude to initiate children of that tender age who cannot give consent in such circumstances.
One can safely argue that it is almost suicidal on the parts of African governments to outrightly denounce this barbaric act, but the truth is that this act should be condemned especially when it has to do with children of young and tender ages. I am writing this piece to commend the effort of UNDP and AMNET in trying to implore on the heads of this very important society that the rights of children are paramount and therefore should be protected. Again let me use this opportunity to remind all and sundry that this is an ongoing fight and that we are not ready to compromise the rights of our children until this battle is eventually won.
FDID view this practice as a gross Human Rights violation and one that has the potential of undermining the foundation of our democracy and our fragile peace. FDID is calling on all well meaning Sierra Leonean, Civil society organizations and the press to join us in this fight to protect the rights of children against harmful traditional practices.