Sunday, August 12, 2007

African NGO wins Hilton prize

Female genital mutilation is nothing new - it has been around for centuries, if not longer (Sir Richard Burton described it in detail in the 1800s). What is surprising is the lack of generalised outrage this cruel and widespread practice inspires. In fact, the silence is deafening. I hope this award will help spotlight a serious problem and contribute to its solution.

Award for anti-mutilation charity
By David Bamford
BBC News Africa editor

A girl undergoing circumcision

An West African aid group campaigning to abolish female genital mutilation has been awarded the world's biggest prize for humanitarian work.

The Tostan organisation, based in Senegal, has been chosen for the Hilton Prize, worth $1.5m (£740,000)

The organisation uses traditional song, poetry, theatre and dance to educate people in West African villages about the dangers of genital mutilation.... Their grassroots approach has been key to dealing sensitively with an issue that involves convincing traditional communities they should move away from a long-maintained yet cruel cultural practice.

Click here to read the article in full

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