By Awa Macalo
As part of its continued efforts to strengthening democratic governance in the country, Beakanyang, over the weekend launched its voter education programme targeting women, youth and PWDs.
The launching witnessed series of engagements with women gardeners at Bakau, Sukuta and Bajulinding gardens in the Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region respectively.
The campaign formed part of a 10-month project funded by the International Republican Institute, IRI.
It seeks to promote more women, youth and persons with disabilities participation in the forthcoming presidential and National Assembly elections.
It is also designed to increase the involvement of women and young people in mitigating the risks of electoral violence.
In his launching statement, the Executive Director of Beakanyang, Mr Nfamara Jawneh, described the project as important and timely.
He noted that the ‘symbolic launching’ of the project is a stronger indication of Beakanyang’s commitment to leaving no one behind.
“We knew very well that many a times women gardeners are always busy on their farms especially during this rainy season and as such would have little time to attend formal workshops and town hall meetings due to competing priorities as such, we decided to follow them to the garden just to ensure that we cover everyone in the community,” the human rights activist remarked.
A former journalist, he added: “We want to help you prepare ahead of the campaign so that you can put your issues before the candidates thus promoting issues based on political as opposite to ethnic and religious politics.”
The Vice President of the Bakau Women’s Horticultural Garden group, Madam Awa Bojang, thanked Beakanyang for the foresight, noting that the event was unprecedented.
She said that women’s political participation is essential for the country’s democracy.
Mbakaddy Sambou of Bajulinding thanked Beakanyang for enlightening them about their political rights.
According to her, such a meeting was ‘unprecedent’ in the history of the garden and provided women the platform to ask relevant questions relating to the looming December election.
Mrs Nyima Sanyang and Fatou Jamba Nani Bojang of Sukuta women’s garden, respectively, applauded Beakanyang for promoting political tolerance and women participation in politics.
“We are happy that you find time out of your busy schedules to come all the way to the garden to discuss important national issues such as upcoming elections. We have never received such a mission here,” she said.
According to Tumani Danjo, head of programmes at Beakanyang, in the coming weeks and months the organisation will reach out to communities across the country including visits to more women gardens, lumos etcetera.
“As women you must ensure that you play an active role in ensuring peaceful elections come December 4th,” he tasked.