UNESCO, GYIN Gambia prepare Gambian youth leaders as agents of sustainable peace
With the financial support of UN Peace Building Fund, UNESCO Dakar, in partnership with the Global Youth Innovation Network – Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia), has trained youth leaders in The Gambia on conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
The three-days capacity building workshop which ended on Wednesday, 23rd February, was aimed at equipping youth leaders with skills to play a more proactive role in creating a culture of sustainable peace in The Gambia, following more than two decades of dictatorship and suppression which ended in 2016.
A total of 50 youth leaders from different national and regional associations from across The Gambia were trained in various aspects of conflict transformation and peacebuilding such as Conflict Analysis Skills in Peacebuilding; Approaches in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding; Mobilizing for Change; Advocacy for Conflict Resolution; Communication and Conflict Handling Skills, and Dealing with Prejudices and Discrimination.
“All the sessions were so interactive. All the messages delivered were clear. The training was so participatory,” said Isatou K Jallow, vice chairperson of the Regional Youth Committee of Upper River Region.
According to Ms Jallow, they will make sure the knowledge gained from the training is disseminated in their respective communities through stepdown trainings.
“The training is so good and I think more and more young people and communities should benefit and that is only possible through stepdown trainings,” she affirmed.
Muhammed Hakim J Jallow, focal person of the Regional Youth Committee of Central River Region, reiterated the importance of the training in addressing the vulnerabilities of young people in The Gambia.
As a member of the Regional Youth Committee, Mr Jallow assured the commitment of the committee to organise a series of activities or include some of the modules from this peace training into the trainings that the committee has outlined for this year.
Mamud Ndow, GYIN Gambia coordinator in North Bank Region, noted that his region is highly affected with communal conflicts, particularly on land related issues.
Fanta BS Manneh, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior said the training of youth on conflict transformation and peacebuilding builds on existing capabilities for peacebuilding and conflict prevention within the families, communities and regions.
Such trainings, she noted, also drives national dialogue and consultation for building of peace and prevention of violent conflicts in societies.
Mamadou Edrissa Njie, Executive Director of GYIN Gambia, said the training was directly addressing gaps that were identified during a training needs and organisational capacity assessment of 50 youth organisations from across The Gambia.
The assessment and the development of the training manual as well as the delivery of the training were part of a Peace Building Fund project entitled ‘Young Women and Men as Stakeholders in Ensuring Peaceful Democratic Processes and Advocates for the Prevention of Violence and Hate Speech’. It is being implemented by UNDP, UNFPA and UNESCO in The Gambia.
Part of the objectives of the project is to enhance youth participation in governance and peaceful democratic processes and strengthen capacities as advocates against hate speech to prevent violence.