Ousmane is a passionate 29 year old youth from Senegal. A graduate in Health and Sustainable Development, Ousmane has a community health focus having more than seven years of experience on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health issues. His involvement in anti-female genital mutilation (anti-FGM) efforts in Senegal came after watching an awareness film showing a brilliant girl who lost her life as a result of the practice.
Ousmane’s commitment to ending FGM has been reinforced by his community health experience; this helped him realise that FGM as a practice is not based on medical or religious grounds, but is a traditional practice underpinned by social norms. As a young native of Ndioum, in the region of Saint Louis that is deeply rooted in traditional values, FGM is practiced to preserve the virginity and purity of their girls. Exposure to community engagement has opened up doors for Ousmane allowing him to accumulate considerable experience on the issues of FGM. Over the years, his contributions as an active community member has focused on awareness raising among parents and young people about the consequences of this practice, both physically and psychologically.
“The youth within the alliance are actively committed to fight against discrimination and stigmatization and facilitate access to approporate information, services and quality care to every young person in order to see a generation without STIs, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy, and FGM".
Ousame is the co-founder and coordinator of the National Alliance of Youth for Reproductive Health and Family Planning in Senegal, (ANJSRPF) created in 2014. ANJSRPF is one of the first organisations in Senegal to join The Girl Generation. His work with the youth is largely through Ado Centers, which focus on sexual and reproductive health. The youth within the alliance are actively committed to fight against discrimination and stigmatisation and facilitate access to appropriate information, services and quality care to every young person in order to see a generation without STIs, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy, and FGM.
During International Women’s Day, Ousmane contributed an active role helping spread the word about The Girl Generation in Senegal, through social media platforms and by providing support to others on visibility streams. There has been a growing group of young people in Senegal who feel it was necessary to combine their experiences in the academic and community sectors through health projects and programs in order to contribute significantly and effectively to improving the sexual and reproductive health of young people and vulnerable populations.
Ousmane appreciates the opportunity that youth have in Senegal, where their innovative ideas and passions can be leveraged to end FGM. He is seeking to collaborate with like-minded organisations and donors in Senegal, specifically organisations that are able to sustainably assist young people, train them on advocacy and safeguarding around the issue of FGM, and supporting innovative activities that they can use to contribute to the abandonment of FGM.