Feb 27, 2013, 8:37 AM
The Saamasang Federation, an affiliate of ChildFund The Gambia is conducting a five-day step down training on good governance and decentralisation, at Jamisa Skills Training Centre in Brikama.
The training programme, which drew participants from various wards was funded by the Community Driven Development Project (CDDP) under the auspices of ChildFund The Gambia, meant to increase understanding of the participants and to increase their effective participation as stakeholders in development of their wards and the country at large.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Saamasang Federation Manager, Edrisa Cham, expressed delight at the exercise.
He noted that looking at the issue of decentralisation, there are changes in governance, as a result of which Saamasang Federation deemed it necessary to organise a step down training for Village Development Committees, wards councilors, etc, so as to equip them with the contents of the Local Government Act and good governance, as well as their roles and responsibilities in due execution of their duties as community leaders.
"The step down training will help equip the participants on the issue of communication and sharing of visions creating policy changes that are very vital and making people to be aware of those changes and supporting the change with capacity development and also consolidating good governance," he said.
According to Mr. Cham, the Samasang Federation does not only target councilors, but others like the VDCs, district authorities, the chiefs, Alkalolu, children and the youth and the women, as well as ordinary citizens who are not part of this structure.
Noting that there is a need for people to be aware of their rights and responsibilities, Mr. Cham further described the programme as very significant, in the sense that it is geared towards achieving good governance at the local level.
For his part, the Vice-Chairman of the Brikama Area Council, Hon. Lamin Aja Bojang described the training as very timely, and noted that it is a step in the right direction.
Also speaking at the programme, Ansumana Fofana from the Department of Community Development, also a trainee expressed similar sentiment while thanking the Samasang for organising the forum.
He urged the participants to effectively participate in the five-day training, as it is important as any other forum.
Meanwhile, Samasang Federation is a community-based organisation, which is operating in Kombo Central and affiliated to ChildFund, focusing mainly on the well-being of the children. The federation is also involved in the areas of health, education, nutrition, skills training and even on poverty alleviation. The federation also built a skills centre in Jamisa.