Published on 11/29/2022

Testimony: "She was kicked out of her family home because she was pregnant

Discussing the subject of pregnancy in young girls, female circumcision, or gender-based violence is difficult in Sédhiou, especially in the most remote villages where information is not widely available. It takes a lot of work to convince parents who are anchored in their socio-cultural beliefs of the importance of RH education, as this account by Mamadou Diop, a facilitator at the CCA in Sédhiou, shows.

This is the story of a pregnant girl who was chased out of the family home by her parents. She was only 16 years old and did not know where to go. Luckily, she found herself with a young girl leader from the teenage counseling center in Sédhiou who quickly understood that she was in trouble. She worked with her and tried to find out more about what was wrong. The girl leader informed us and we went to see her. We discussed with her, we reassured her and we brought her back to the CCA to talk more with her and that's when she confessed to us that she had been chased out of her house and she had been sleeping outside for two days. Immediately, we started family mediation. At first this was not successful. Afterwards, we sent Bajenu Gox (neighborhood godmothers), the imam of the neighborhood to discuss with the parents of the girl who refused the mediation. At that time, the ENDA Santé center for the treatment of gender-based violence was not yet operational. We had no choice but to bring her to the SOS Village. She had her baby. Mediation continued and her parents finally agreed to take her back into the family home. She is currently doing well and so is her baby. Cases like this are common in the area. Sometimes despite our efforts we can't find a solution for the girl. But this does not discourage us, even if it is a positive case among 100, and it motivates us more to always make efforts for the well-being of the girl. 

Mamadou Diop, facilitator at the CCA of Sédhiou