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“Her mother says she is old enough and needs to be cut, her father says you are holding on to age old traditions,” read the lyrics to one of the songs performed on Thursday by young volunteers.

UNFPA, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Etijah Youth and Development Consultancy Institute and Zad Art Team commemorated National Population Day on July 29, with a musical performance and a short film at the Olympic Center theatre in Maadi.

The concert comes as part of the Shamandora initiative, which employs music to mobilize young people, to contribute to changing social norms and raise awareness around different population issues.

The songs produced are part of the awareness program within the Population Awareness Clubs, operating within the Ministry of Youth’s youth centers. The program offers young participants the skills to improvise songs that address different issues that include child marriage and FGM in a music and singing camp, where they take part in several workshops.

The workshops not only tackle different population issues, but also hone the participants’ musical skills and reinforce teamwork dynamics.

The event also showcased other edutainment techniques through which young people aim to raise awareness around different population issues, namely a short film produced by Nawah Network volunteers tackling child marriage. The film called “Birds for sale”. Worth mentioning the master song of the film is improvised during one of the Shamandora camps.

The program is supported by the European Union in Egypt, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Egypt.