Apr 20, 2010, 11:00 AM
National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), through the Fandemo Drama group,
concluded a 10-day community sensitisation on how to settle inheritance
disputes, land disputes, face-to-face meetings on civic rights and duties,
democracy and citizenship last Wednesday.
They were also sensitized on birth certificates and local institutions including VDC, school community discussion on the right to education, training of community leaders and law-enforcement agencies as well as women groups. Also discussed were issues such as gender-based violence.
The activity, held in the North Bank Region, was part of the European Union-funded; Access to Justice and Legal Education Project being implemented by partners such as NCCE, NALA, ADRS and FLAG.
The project aims to contribute to better democracy and economic governance in The Gambia, through improving access to justice and legal education.
The major focus of the project is the civic awareness campaign, geared towards ensuring that local communities are aware of their basic legal rights and obligations, and how and where to seek redress.
Sheikh Omar Sawaneh, a script writer, director and film producer, who is also an accountant at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS), one of the implementers of the Access to Justice Project, was the producer of the drama that was being played at the project identified sites.
In an interview, held in Baddibu Saba, Sawaneh said all their theatres are sending messages on how people could learn about their legal and civic rights as citizens of The Gambia.
He recalled that they held the same productions in Brikama, the West Coast Region, Kwinella in Lower River Region and Kuraw in Upper River Region last year.
According to him, all these areas have issues that bother the people on the rights of inheritance and that in the play they included the authorities that will address the issues that people do not know about.
“I developed the scripts and gave it to the National Council for Civic Education as the implementer. I called my actors who went through it practically,” he said.
The plays showcase various types of conflict, including land problems, and which institutions can settle them.
Deo Patience, head of the National Agency for Legal Aid Mobile Clinic Delegation, said the project is doing well in making people understand their legal rights and responsibilities and how to redress their problems.
She said NALA is providing legal aid to any person accused of capital offences as well as all legal troubles involving children whether civil or criminal; including rape cases.
According to her, many people in the provinces cannot afford the services of lawyers and that most lawyers are based in the Greater Banjul Area.
“The mobile legal aid clinic is meant to help them access free legal services,” added Patience.