By Amadou M Jadama
Nfamara Jawneh, Beakanyang Executive Director who doubles as Coordinator of Youth for Human Rights The Gambia, has called on President Adama Barrow and his Coalition Government to protect the rights of citizens.
He was speaking on Friday during the launching of the Human Rights Club at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Bundung funded by US Embassy.
“At Beakanyang, we believe that there cannot be any sustainable development and peace without respect for human rights. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to once again call on the duty bearer, the government, to protect the rights of all citizens including children,” he said.
He commended the Government for the recent approval of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), Constitution Review Committee (CRC) and Human Rights Commission bill.
“The objective of the program is to teach students their rights and the rights of others thus promoting positive social change in our communities. Each school will have a teacher coordinator and his or her assistant, an executive student committee to be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Club,” he said.
Mr. Jawneh encouraged the students to work hard to serve as a role model and shining example to other schools so that their success could be replicated in other schools.
According to him, the teacher coordinators will serve as the link between Beakanyang and their respective schools. He said even though membership in the human rights club is optional, students should consider joining the club as the benefits are just too many.
“This year for the first time we will integrate a new teaching model in our human rights education program known as participatory approach which is more about learner centered. In this program, we will be using games, drama and role plays in our training both with teacher coordinators and with students,” he added.
Beakanyang boss further said: “Youth for Human Rights The Gambia is an advocacy arm of Beakanyang and an affiliate of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI; an international NGO headquartered in California, USA. The purpose of YHRI is to teach young people about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace.”
According to him, YHRI has now grown into a global movement, including hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters around the world. “In The Gambia Youth for Human Rights works with schools and youth organizations in carrying out its activities nationwide.”
Dusu Sima, Principal Education Officer who represented Regional Education Director 1 Kanifing, asserted: “Human Rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, color, religion or language.
“We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
“The four guiding principles of the convention of the right of the child are non discrimination, priority given to the best interest of the child to life, survival and development and respect for the views of the child.”
Other speakers included Alagie Jarju, who represented the Executive Director of NYC and Amadou Gaye, who spoke on behalf of Nusrat Human Rights Club.