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Journalists Trained on Disability Issues

Jul 10, 2009, 9:44 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

A one-day training workshop for journalists on disability issues, organised by the Gambia Federation of Disabled, in collaboration with VSO on Wednesday 8th July 2009, wrapped-up at the Alliance Franco Gambienne.

The workshop, among others, was aimed at equipping journalists on various disability issues.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Muhammed Kora, the Chairman of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, described the training as very important and timely, noting that the role of journalists in disability reporting cannot be over-emphasised.

He called on all who work with disabilities to come with plans geared towards helping those with disabilities. He explained that the most important thing that those with disabilities need is to sensitise the general public about is the issue affecting their life.

Deputising for the VSO, Mrs. Ndella Gaye Colley noted that VSO international works in the area of disability in 13 countries, including The Gambia. She said her organisation aims to empower people with disabilities and support their access to basic services, as well as enhance their participation in community and family life.

This work, she added, is done in partnership with disabled people's organisation, service providers, human rights organisation and policy makers to influence and mainstream disability in the development process.

Mrs. Ndella Gaye Colley further stated that one of the most important partners in development is the media and its practitioners, noting that they play a crucial role in the dissemination of information to the general public. She stated that, according to the World Health Organisation, 10% of every population is disabled. Therefore, she added, "the training of journalists on disability issues is fundamental and timely as we work to raise awareness on disability and issues affecting them in society".