By Olimatou Coker
Side By side Organisation Gambia, and its international partners, last Friday organised its 6th international diversity forum at the Alliance Francaise.
The event brought together Gambian and United States volunteers, renowned faith and political leaders to discuss common challenges that continue to pose threats to peaceful co-existence between people of different backgrounds.
With a theme Diversity sustaining democracy and community peace, it was designed to deepen greater understanding among different groups and faiths in The Gambia.
The National Coordinator Hatab Fadera, said SBSO was committed to promoting national and international peace and harmony among people of different faiths, political representation, background, ethnicity and race.
“We have consciously embraced diversity and are committed to strengthening our communities through continued peace initiatives such as this diversity forum,” he stated.
“Today’s event is one of the most important highlights of our partnership. This is significant because it is addressing the rather complex but critical issues of diversity and key elements vital to sustaining progress and peace for any stable democratic dispensation.”
According to Hatab, it is no secret that the change of government came and with it a myriad of challenges for our nation, and necessitated more than ever before, the greater need to promote peace and sustain stability.
“Today, we are left to believe and act like we are indifferent to each other.”
According to him, the precarious political situation has seen “grassroots unrests in some Gambian communities. These problems mean that our national healing process must not only be fully supported, but we the citizens must be the architect of achieving this. This means that all of must be committed to promoting peace and to join our diverse people for the good of our communities.”
Politician Bakary Badjie, and board member, said SBSO is among the few youth organisations that remain relevant in rendering services to the society.
“Our intention here is how to examine The Gambia as a country, and what’s the involvement of young people in this respect.”
Also speaking was International Coordinator The Gambia project’s Beverly Berndt.