By Rohey Jadama
The Girls’ Agenda a community Based Organization in the West Coast Region in partnership with the National Youth Council and with Funding from UNFPA has concluded an 8 days training for four Madrassa schools on Saturday 23 July,2016 at the Regional Education Directorate in Brikama.
The aim of the project among other things is to make sure information is passed to the often marginalized section of the society. The theme is dubbed “Breaking silence in often marginalized situations”
In his closing remarks, the Executive Director of National Youth Council Mr. Lamin Darboe, expressed his appreciation of the efforts and contributions of The Girls’ Agenda towards the fight against violence against women and girls.
Mr. Darboe, urged the participants to find time within their busy schedules to go back to their various schools to disseminate what they have learnt to their fellow students, future leaders. He added that if that is done they can boast to say in few years to come they will be able to fight all violence against women and girls in homes, communities and the country at large.
“That task lies on you and all other young people out there. We will also thank all the schools who have participated in this process, it has not been easy understanding the social setup and the stigma that has been always attached when we want to talk about things our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters faced and societies have attached stigma and discrimination on a daily basis to people who even stood up for this. But various schools have taken up the challenge to say they are willing to join the crusade to make sure we are able to fight against violence against women. You are our strategic partner to ensure the change that we envisage to see in few years to come or in the future in the society where violence against women does not exist or happens through you”, said the NYC Executive Director.
For her part, the National Coordinator of The Girls’ Agenda Ms. Matida Daffeh, underscored the importance of the Madarassa Engagement Project. She said her organization thought of this initiative to make sure every sector of the society is targeted.
“We at The Girls’ Agenda believe in information without boundaries, we think that there is no information that people should really not be aware of. This is the second phase of the project and this time around four schools were selected and 50 students and their teachers were invited and these people have been exposed to gender based violence in all its form, from wife battering to female genital mutilation and from other forms of sexual violence be it rape and early marriage and communication skills,” said the National Coordinator of The Girls’ Agenda.
Ms. Daffeh said if each participant is able to disseminate information to a single person she will of course make an impact because the Girls’ Agenda could not have done it at their own organization level for it has to go to other departments and institutions.
“The main aim of the project is to make sure information is also passed to the often marginalized section of our society which is the madarassa unit. Often there are workshops and trainings but in most of the cases the Madrassa unit is seldom targeted, this is why my organization thought it that it is very important to involve them and make sure they get the right information”, said Ms. Daffeh.
She noted that they are hoping to get more funds to expand to other schools because there are so many Madrassa schools in the West Coast Region. She added that they are hoping to train if not all but most of the Madrassa schools and that hopefully they will try and monitor and make some follow up to the already trained schools to see whether they are able to disseminate the information at their institutional level.
The ceremony was also characterized with the presentation of Posters and Stickers which contained messages of gender based violence to the participants.