Jun 23, 2014, 10:54 AM
Twenty-Four new community-based facilitators from Kombo South have been certificated after completion of a three-day intensive training of rights education in the campaign towards eradicating Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful traditional practices affecting the health and rights of children and women.
The objective of the training is to empower the Community Based Facilitators to advocate against FGM, children's and women's rights in their communities.
This training is part of the recently launched GAMCOTRAP Save the Children UNIFEM project for 2010-2012 in the Kombos, Western Region on Eradicating Harmful Traditional Practices through Rights Education.
In presenting the certificates at the closing ceremony, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of GAMCOTRAP, Honourable Sedia Jatta asserted "I am impressed because they talked with passion; I have never seen a group of young people like this who are articulate and convinced. To change people you have to change yourself first by being convinced... You have to be humble, tolerance and patience to listen to others before they can have people listen to them. Change is not easy, because we have to educate people to be empowered. Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray, advised the participants to develop reading attitude to upscale their skills so as to empower them to talk to elders and authorities.
She called on them to learn from what the elders are doing and make the best out of it. "Be youths with substance" Dr. Touray advised and commended them for going through rigorous training to earn the certificates.
In his vote of thanks, on behalf of his colleagues, Ousman Jammeh of Jambanjelly, said "the end of the training is a new beginning of their commitment," and then called on the Community Based Facilitators to know their direction, because they know what to achieve.
Noting that they have been provided with the knowledge they needed to be able to deliver, he said "Knowledge speaks and wisdom listens" and pledged their support to GAMCOTRAP.
According to the participants, the training has given them confidence, information and knowledge to share with their communities and win them over to protect girls from FGM and protect the rights of children and stop violence against women.
Lamin Jatta of Berending, said "We should be honest to talk to ourselves, and share the information we have gathered here today and share it with our people then we will meet our goal."
According to Yaya Conta of Batokunku, there is confidence and commitment to change among the Community Based Facilitators. He said "You'll be asked questions and we have been prepared with the information and knowledge to deal with some of the challenges."
Fatou Gibba of Gunjur Association of Assisting the Needy - GAAN advised them to be aware that "Most of you are young, I would advise you to be patient and tolerant, because nobody forced you and you will be faced with challenges. Bring yourselves down, because you will face older people, who are not educated".
Alhajie Touray of Gunjur and Ousman Jabang of Kartong, all expressed their impression with the handouts given to them. As Ousman Jabang put it, "the pamphlets are our weapon to win over our people. Let us use them to arm ourselves".
The outcome of the training included a plan of action by the Community-Based Facilitators and commitment to engage in the project implementation.