By Samsideen Ceesay
The University of The Gambia School of Journalism and Digital Media with funding from UNICEF on Saturday concluded a 2-day training and retreat on journalism, reporting on child marriage, FGM/C and maternal health.
The event was held at the regional education directorate in Basse, Upper River Region.
The two-day intensive training was centered on enhancing the participation of aspiring journalists in the promotion of rights of children with specific focus on the legal instruments such as Children’s Act, UNCRC and ACRWC, national legislations protecting the rights of women and girls with focus on laws that prohibits FGM/C, Child Marriage and sexual violence.
Speaking at the event, Alagie Jawara, deputizing the governor, Upper River Region, said the training was crucial and timely as it would avail the participants to have better understanding of issues underpinning FGM in the country as well as equip them with the ethics in the subject.
“The greater protection of children is a concern to the government and I implore the aspiring journalists to report on pertinent issues confronting children as well as disseminate information to the public the implications of female genital mutilation,” he said.
He added: “We must take it as a responsibility; journalists have a role to play in the fight against FGM as well as the protection of children when they are victimized. I thank you for choosing Basse for this important retreat; Basse has the highest prevalence of FGM in the country”.
Also speaking at the event, the deputy dean, School of Journalism and Digital Media, University of The Gambia, Dr Morolake O Adekunle stressed the need for the participants to acquire skills and knowledge to become activists in children reporting. “The children represent the nation, their rights should be reported and safeguarded.
“At the end of the retreat students will be better informed on how to report ethical issues on children as well as safeguard children’s rights.”
Malick Mboob, the president, Journalism Students’ Association also spoke at the event.