SOS International The Gambia through its regional Office in Soma recently organised a three-day sensitisation forum for stakeholders in the region.
The European Union-backed forum focused on child rights and protection, was held at the Kaira Konko Scout Headquarter in Soma.
Pierre Jatta, a Project Coordinator at SOS International The Gambia, said the forum targeted stakeholders in the Lower River Region, noting that the forum was part of a nationwide initiative embarked upon by SOS International The Gambia to reach out to stakeholders at the grassroot.
According to him, the forum was also designed to encourage stakeholders to come onboard and play a lead role towards advocating for the rights and the protection of children.
SOS Project Coordinator posited that the move was part of his institution’s drive in the implementation of a three-year European Union-funded project on child rights for sustainable change.
Jatta revealed that the EU-backed project is here to support the people and the Government of the Gambia in its bid to promote and protect the rights of the child.
“We are implementing the EU funded project on child rights, but for the project to become successful there is a need for the full participation of all stakeholders directly or indirectly.
Salifu Puye, the Governor of the Lower River Region, commended the Government for what he called ‘a giant move’ towards the promotion and the protection of the rights of the child.
“I must thank the Government of the Gambia for the ratification of Regional and International Legal Instruments on child rights like the African Chartered on the Rights and Welfare of the Children (ACRWC) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children (UNCRC), as well as for the domestication those legal instruments like 2005 Child Act, Women Acts into our constitution,” he added.
Governor Puye maintained that the recent pronouncement by the President of the Republic to ban child marriage in the country, is a step in the right direction and is something worth commending, emphasising that the move is a demonstration of government’s commitment to national development.
He went on to thank SOS International The Gambia for coming up with such initiatives at their level and for establishing a regional office in LRR.
Governor Puye challenged participants to listen keenly throughout the sessions so as to get better understanding of the topics.
Mustapha Koli of the Women’s Bureau Office in Mansakonko, thanked SOS International The Gambia for the move.
Ebrima Kinteh, the LRR project Coordinator for SOS International The Gambia Office in Soma, urged participants to share the knowledge gained with the wider community in the interest of children.
by Salifu M. Touray