By Aminata Ceesay
A one-day forum on child protection Wednesday ended at a local hotel in Bijilo.
It was organised by the Child Protection Alliance with support from the British Embassy in Banjul, and attended by various education stakeholders.
Speaking at the event, the Youth Coordinator of CPA, Lamin K Saidy said the CPA is a network of civil society organisations, who are working with and for children in the Gambia.
He added that the primary aim of the institution is to address issues of children and advocate for the advancement of their plied.
“We do this through advocacy, research, training and we also collaborate other relevant stockholders and communities,” he said. “Our network covers virtually all pairs or all issues that affect the life’s of the child from education, health etc.”
According to coordinator Saidy, this is why the CPA is strong.
“Part of our efforts in also reaching to communities we have and through our initiatives called ‘community child protection committees’ in two regions of the country. We are thinking of expanding, of course, in three regions, and that is to engage communities as well in order to be active in the protection of children.”
Fanna Maram Gaye, social welfare officer at the Child Care Unit department, described the initiative as means of ending violence and the eradication of child abuse issues in communities.
“The government of the Gambia is committed to the protection of all the children in the Gambia, and has put in place national child protection strategic plan and a plan of action that is been implemented to ensure a system approach to child protection”, she said.
Kalipha Bojang, communication’s officer, British Embassy Banjul, expressed the Embassy’s elation in contributing to the initiative.
“Through our bilateral project fund, CPA received 19,000 pounds to conduct training workshops in all the administrated regions of the Gambia on child rights, child protection and development of a child protection policy,” Mr Bojang revealed.
He stated: “The forum is to affirm and validate the in-school child protection policy and code of conduct which could inspire schools across the country to establish protection mechanisms.”
The Senior Education Officer at Life Skills Education Limited Amie Njie Sonko described the project as a “great move” in “structuring and ensuring a policy that will help in the protection of children in the Gambia.”