By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
The Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure Demba Ali Jawo, has underscored the pivotal role played by Young People in the Media (YPM) and Child Fund, as staunch champions and promoters of child rights and children’s issues.
Mr. Jawo made this remark at Brikama, West Coast Region (WCR) on the 4th of April 2018, at the opening event of activities marking International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), organised by YPM, in collaboration with Stakeholders in child protection with support from Child Fund-The Gambia, on the theme “Child Marriage Harms Children.”
Minister Jawo acknowledged the indefatigable efforts of YPM over the years, for championing the rights of Gambian children through the media and across communities in the Gambia.
Jawo dilated on YPM’s crucial role in addressing children’s issues through media platforms, training children and young people to produce quality content for media and bringing children and young people together to identify key issues affecting them in their communities and schools.
Jawo described Child Marriage as a violation of human rights even though child marriage is seen as a girls’ issue; but that it also affects boys to a lesser degree than girls. He highlighted the factors and challenges affecting girls at risks of child marriage such as customary and socio-cultural norms, poverty and the perception that marriage will provide protection and to some extent, the state of the civil registration system.
The Country Director of Child Fund-The Gambia Musu Kuta Komma, noted that ICDB is one great opportunity that allows broadcasters to give children and young people the opportunity to share their hopes, their dreams and aspirations for a better future; that the day also provides children with a media inclination platform, to showcase their innate talents and skills in different facets of life; that Child Fund-The Gambia and YPM should relegate the practice of child marriage to the dustbin of history which continues to manifest itself in some quarters despite a law banning the practice.
“As we celebrate the ICDB, Children and Young People must realize that our primary goal is to succeed in life, to be great, good students who are determined to make a mark in our country. The Gambia needs our services today and in the future.” said Kaddijatou Fofana, Deputy Executive Coordinator- YPM.
The event attracted children from Child Fund Federation, “Saama Kairoo, Ding Ding Yiriwaa” and children from the greater Banjul Area and the West Coast Region.