By Samsideen Ceesay
Information and Communication minister Demba Ali Jawo, has underscored the pivotal role played by Young People in the Media –YPM and Child Fund as far as child rights and children’s issues are concerned, saying they are “champions.”
The minister acknowledged what he called the “indefatigable” efforts of YPM over the years in championing rights of Gambian children through the media and across communities in the Gambia.
The Minister was speaking in Brikama, West Coast Region over the weekend at a highlight event as part of activities marking International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, (ICDB) organised by Young People in the Media (YPM) with support from the ChildFund- The Gambia.
With the theme “Child Marriage Harms Children,” the minister lamented on YPM’s in addressing children’s issues.
He also hailed them for bringing children and young people together to identify key issues affecting them in their communities and schools.
The Minister noted Child Marriage as a “violation of human rights,” and said it affects both boys and girls.
He highlighted the many factors and challenges affecting girls at risks of child marriage such as customary and socio cultural norms, poverty, and the perception that marriage will provide protection and to some extent the state of our civil registration system.
The Country Director of ChildFund – The Gambia Musu Kuta Komma, said “the ICDB is one great opportunity that allows broadcasters to give children and young people the opportunity to share their hopes, their dreams and aspirations for a better future”.
She added that the day also provides children with media inclination a platform to showcase their innate talent and skills in different facets of life whilst also bringing the raft of issues that are inimical to their development and overall wellbeing.
“As we celebrate the ICDB, Children and Young People must realise that our primary goal is to succeed in life, to be great, good students who are determined to make a mark in our country”.
Khaddijatou Fofana, the deputy executive director, YPM, noted that The Gambia “needs our services today and in the future.”
The event attracted children from ChildFund Federation, Saama Kairoo, Ding Ding Yiriwaa” and children from greater Banjul Area and West Coast Regions respectively.