A training of at least 45 volunteers and staff of The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) on protection of refugees, asylum-seekers and persons at risk of statelessness in The Gambia ended at the Regional Education Directorate Conference Hall in Mansakonko, LRR.
The three-day training also marked the sensiitisation of a total of 96 volunteers and staff of the GRCS who will be engaged in the six months project trained on tools and mechanisms of identification, information and referral of persons of concern to UNHCR – the UN agency with the mandate to protect refugees.
Speaking, Martin De Oliveira Santos, an associate protection officer from UNHCR Regional Office in Dakar and a facilitator, explained in detail the objective of the training, which was designed to build the capacity of the project’s personnel on protecting refugees, asylum-seekers and persons at risk of statelessness on the move in The Gambia.
He said the training will cover an overview of the project, UNHCR mandate and persons of concern, mixed movements in West Africa, sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Child Protection in the context of mixed movements, human trafficking and exploitation, GRCS and UNHCR code of conducts, and the tools to be use during the project.
He thanked the GRCS for committing themselves to supporting the course of international protection and expressed his satisfaction to work with them.
The secretary general of the GRCS Alasan Senghore, said the project is in line with the Global Compact on Migration, which aims to provide more protection and better treatment for migrants and refugees.
The secretary went on to stress that sexual and domestic violence is “unacceptable” anywhere in society.
He challenged volunteers to provide services with “diligence and honesty and respect the Code of Conduct of the national society”.
He told his peers it was important that they perform “exceptionally well with quality” in order to continue winning the trust and confidence of UNHCR and other partners in the Red Cross.
The acting vice president of the GRCS, Bakary Sanneh, reassured the UNHCR of the commitment of the GRCS in successfully implementing the project.
“… Be more proactive in the implementation of the project and make sure all doubts are cleared before leaving the training,” Sanneh noted in his opening remarks.
The GRCS said it has been providing services to humanity with “total impartiality and neutrality,” calling on the general public to accept and welcome the Red Cross personnel in their communities in order provide required services to the most vulnerable.