The Gambia office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday opened a 5-day Easter Camp, on the theme ‘Empowering the young’, for 50 students and teachers from schools within the West Coast Region.
The camp, underway at Kampant village in Foni Kansala, is organised to ensure that children are empowered to enable them take care of their own protection needs so that they can grow and thrive under ideal conditions.
Mr Sekou Saho, head of UNHCR Gambia office, said the camp is another way of giving the young space to freely exchange, share and discuss together issues that affect and are of common importance to them.
It is also a way of giving the participants an opportunity to play together and enjoy themselves, while away from school on the Easter vacation.
Mr Saho said inculcating the culture of peace in the participants was another objective of the 5-day camp as peace is a rare treasure that has no alternative.
He said the participants are from different homes, backgrounds and cultures; hence during the camp they would learn the act of accommodating and tolerating one another and of developing respect for diversity.
The Easter Camp would go a long way in creating the necessary awareness in the children to enable them to grow and develop skills to participate in matters that affect them.
Mr Saho noted that children have inbuilt knowledge, capacities and skills which when properly tapped or developed could contribute to the success of programmes and project designed to equip and empower them as future leaders.
“This is why the UNHCR and its partners do age, gender and diversity mainstreaming to involve children in the design and implementation of programmes and activities that concern them (children),” Mr Saho said.
Janko Sanyang, a student participant from Kappa Basic Cycle, on behalf of the participants, thanked the UNHCR saying the camp would go a long way in helping them to develop their talent, confidence and well being not only in the school but also in the society.
Sanyang urged his co-participants to make best use of the 5-day camp and interact with one another.