By Aminata Ceesay
International Republican Institute has recently wrapped up three days civic education workshop on the role of youth and women civic society organizations in The Gambia.
International Republican Institute is nonprofit, nonpartisan organization advancing democracy worldwide.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Regional Director Africa division IRI John G. Tomaszewski said: “Over the past nine months, each organization in this room has made the courageous decision to stand up for democracy and freedom.”
He noted that the participants are expected to deliver positively in implementing what they have learned and benefit the public in promoting democracy and issues that regard civic education awareness.
Also speaking, the national coordinator, Hopes of Tomorrow, Muhammed S Bah said: “IRI are partners that have been here for the past presidential election and they have made impact during the presidential election that is the empowerment of civil society organizations. People have the misconception of democracy in the Gambia; this is what privileged IRI to come on board to support these partners. Seven civil society organizations, including youth organizations, will be supported in building their capacities and also giving them funds to venture into civic awareness, civic engagement in various strategies.”
Juldeh Njie, a participant, said: “I am honoured to be part of this training because it is very important. When you talk about civic education, many people do not understand what it really means, even I did not clearly understand it before what it means by our civic rights and responsibilities but now I am well equipped. We are taught about monitory and evaluation which I think they are key and I’m sure that all the activists that are here will make good use of it.”
Modou Lamin Bah, secretary general of Hopes of Tomorrow and also a participant, expects to create more awareness on civic education and the role of youth in the country.