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YPM concludes refresher training workshop on communication in digital environment

May 19, 2016, 11:06 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Young People in the Media in collaboration with UNICEF Banjul office and the Department of Information Services recently concluded a two day refresher training workshop on communication skills for adolescents under the theme: ‘Digital Environment, a tool for effectiveadvocacy,empowerment and development for the young’.

The training served to empower adolescents with basic communication tools that would enable them to effectively disseminate key messages to the public through various avenues as well as hold discussions with influential adults on issues that affect them according to Ms. Kaddijatou Fofana, executive coordinator of Young People in the Media.

The training which was held at the NaNA conference hall stance in the promotion of child rights brought together stakeholders from government institutions, civil society organisations across the Greater Banjul Area was meant for young people to engage themselves into effective and efficient communication using the right platforms.

UNICEF said over the decades, the power of the print and broadcast media has been harnesses by activists to communicate about children’s issues and advocate for inclusion of children who are being left behind. But she was quick to say that the world is fast becoming a world of technology with media channels becoming increasingly digital and social.

She said the provision of internet-based communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Viber to name few are changing the ways people communicate and interact.They expand and diversify audience reach as well as provide activists, especially young activists such as you, diverse ways of sharing information about the situation of children and advocating with the maximum audience.

UNICEF 2014 publication children’s Rights in the Digital Age, states that the majority of new internet users are children and young people below the age of 24.

By sharing information through digital or social media, you are not only educating others but you are also letting the world to know that you are actively participating in your own development.

UNICEF encourages such training for adolescents as they are in line with article 12 of the UN convention on the rights of the child, which states that all children have the right to express their opinion freely and to have that opinion taken into account in any matter or procedure affecting the child.

For his part, DPS Malick Jones said this training is an opportunity for young people to learn all they can about communication skills, advocacy skills through various media channels and also hold discussions with influential adults on issues that affect the young.

“It is very important to thoroughly understand what to say and how to say it when using the social media platform,” he said.

He noted that social media is one aspect of digital communication which has dominated communication in the 21st century.

“We can now run an entire campaign online, be productive on these avenues, share your messages, raise concerns and be voices for the voiceless,” he added.