Access to Justice project funded by the European Union recently concluded a
training of trainers session for Alkalos on access to justice and customary
The five-day training course held at the ActionAid conference hall along MDI Road Kanifing, was aimed at reaching out to other alkalos in the country.
Neneh Cham, consultant and one of the trainers, said out of 1810 Alkalos only 250 have been reached for sensitization, and there is a lot of them remaining.
They selected three from each region, so that when they go back they can conduct similar training courses for other alkalos in their area.
The numbers are very small, but it is better to have something than nothing, and they have been impressed by their participation and contributions, as well as sharing of experiences.
They appreciated the commitment and participation of the participants, and the European Union for funding, she went on.
Nccoletta Bortowzzi, EURECNA project manager, said she has been following the activity and the entire project.
The participants are part of the bigger picture; they are part of the process, and they are doing something bigger than a project.
“It is a programme between the Government of The Gambia and the European Union, and financing is for better access to justice.”
This training course they are now witnessing has been one of the most innovative parts of the project.
Customary law is a fundamental pillar of justice in The Gambia and the participants are the people behind it.
They are to work for the most vulnerable people in the community to have access to justice, and stand up for their rights and to find peaceful solutions; they have a responsibility to contribute to their respective regions, the project manager added.
Mbemba Jabbie, Alkalo of Wulli Taibatou in Wulli West, said they were trained on access to justice and customary laws for five days.
He said access to Justice and customary laws are important in their lives and livelihoods, adding that the training course was vital, and has taught them how to solve problems among themselves without taking the matter to court, concerning issues such as marriage and land issues.
When they go back to their villages, they will be able to strengthen their efforts in settling disputes among people, with the knowledge gained from the training course.
Waa Ceesay, the Alkalo of Jarreng village in Niamina East District, said the training course has been a successful one, as a training of the trainers for the Alkalolu.
The training course had started as a sensitization programme, which was started in Jangjangbureh sometime in July 2016.
For their role as customary mediators, they will have to accustom themselves with the traditions and customary laws of the country.
They were trained on customary laws, so that when they go back to their villages they will teach other Alkalos, he continued.
Olimatou Colley, an Alkalo, said the training course was timely and important, because she used to have difficulties when dealing with issues like customary laws, but now with the knowledge gained from the access to justice programme she could do it very well.