Yellitaare: the stop early marriage campaign

In Fulani, the word “yellitaare” means empowerment, and the non-profit organization Yellitaare seeks to further just that. Through the use of film, Yellitaare tries to advance the empowerment of all people in a crusade for human rights, specifically focusing on issues like AIDS and forced marriage. Yellitaare is dedicated to spreading information about the practice and consequences of forced marriage and promoting an intergenerational dialogue to attempt to change this custom. The film titled Yellitaare, directed by Moussa Boucoume, furthers the non-profit’s cause by portraying the story of Dienaba Hamady Sow, an eleven year old girl who died of AIDS after her forced marriage to a forty year old man. Yellitaare will be shown in film festivals worldwide, as training for UN peacekeepers, and locally throughout Africa in schools, health clinics, university lecture halls, and remote rural areas with the help of mobile cinemas.

This organization has also forged partnerships with artists such as Baaba Maal, Coumba Gawlo Seck, Akon, and Souleymane Cisse who will produce their own films and songs to inspire greater human rights advocacy.

The non-profit organizations RADDHO, Tostan, ANCS, ARED, ACI, and government officials like the President and First Lady of Senegal, Abdoulaye and Viviane Wade, have also pledged their support of Yellitaare. With the support of these and other prominent figures, Yellitaare plans to hold an international summit regarding forced marriage and AIDS awareness in Los Angeles in September of 2011. Whether through the use of film, music, or intergenerational dialogue, Yellitaare works to increase the level of global human rights by promoting the discussion and awareness of these issues.

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