By Jarra Cham
The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) Tuesday launched a project meant to build the capacity of twelve civil society members and community media staff on web management, public speaking and other forms of communication.
The project dubbed Outreach and Bottom-up: Expanding the Civic Space (OBECS) is funded by Civil Society in Development (CISU) and aimed at boosting the communication skills of CSOs and community media journalists to proactively engage their audience.
Mrs. Meita Touray, Project Assistant said the project will empower CSOs with skills to create and sustain interactive radio concepts and content in local languages, develop web and social media platforms, and facilitate meetings with mutual learning with CBOs, all geared towards sustaining and encouraging interactive dialogue with their audience.
“The current state of this country calls for emboldened CSOs. This can only be achieved if organizations and institutions like MAJaC continually build the capacity of CSO members to effectively carry out their roles of holding the Government and its institution to account for their actions and inactions. This is also in line with the primary role of journalism thus the need for including community media in this project so that CSOs can reach out to their target communities using the community media,” she said.
She added that the Academy has over the years built the capacity of many civil society members in different thematic areas including advocacy and the use of digital media. And should be acknowledged for empowering community media staff with knowledge and skills relevant to their work.
Mr. Alagie Cham representing the Executing Director of TANGO said civil society organizations are a driving force of successful policy advocacy and implementation in most societies.
He said that CSOs and the media are able to thrive better in a democratically stable country where policies are favorable. He further thanked MAJaC for building the capacity of Gambian CSOs.
Muhammed S. Bah, President of the Gambia Press Union said the project came at a time when the Gambia is experiencing a lot of pending reforms agenda, such as constitutional and legal reform, transitional justice reform, and security sector reform among other reforms that are relevant to the people of the Gambia
“In our world today, which is characterized by absolute social injustice, poverty, corruption, bad governance, and unjust distribution of wealth among other things, I believe the only sectors that can save the people of the world from these man-made menaces are vibrant media and CSOs,” Bah said.
Bah further called on CSOs and community media staff to make the best use of the training, saying that the knowledge and skill they will acquire will help them in their service to their audience.