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YPM Gambia to Stage Inter-Generational Dialogue Forum

Feb 27, 2009, 3:47 AM

The Young People in the Media, The Gambia, in partnership with UNICEF Banjul Office and UNIQUE FM Radio Station, will this Sunday March 1st hold a inter generational dialogue forum at the front ground of UNIQUE FM Radio Station along Garba Jahumpa Road, Fajara as part of activities marking the International Children's Day of Broadcasting, a day when broadcasters air quality programming for and about children. But more importantly, they allow children to be part of the programming and production process, to talk about their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges in life. TV and radio play a vital role in raising awareness of children's rights issues and a critical role in shaping children's lives.

Mrs. Fatou Camara Saidy, chairperson board of director's Young People in the Media, noted that ICDB is a joint initiative of UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Every year, thousands of broadcasters in more than 100 countries take part in the day, celebrating it in ways that are as unique and special as children themselves.

Television and radio broadcasters continue to mark the International Children's Day of Broadcasting with distinctive and dynamic programming produced in their own countries.

The Proprietress of the I Media Company added that young people are often overlooked when it comes to the mainstream media. "Our airwaves don't tend to make room for youth perspectives, perhaps because young voices are not perceived as important, or because media work by children and adolescents may not be as professional as that of well trained adults. It can be challenging to find strong youth characters on television or radio and even harder to find smart, educational content that is geared towards a young audience," she said.

According to Abdou Jatta, the president of Young People in the Media The Gambia, the inter- generational dialogue forum will be between parents, stakeholders, civil society, media personalities and young people themselves to debate on the theme of this years, ICDB, 'Unite for Children tune in to Kids'. The dialogue Forum will attract 200 young people from various schools and children's and youth organisations.

Jatta added that the following topics will be dealt with during the dialogue forum discipline, child participation, poverty, education, child protection, (sexual abuse & exploitation; almudous; child apprentices; corporal punishment, cyberspace violence), The ACRWC and The Children's Act (implementation, enforcement).

Satang Nabaneh, Gambian child representative to the World Children's Parliament and secretary general of YPM, noted that there is so much about this world that young people need to learn - from politics and history to culture and ethics. "It's important to tell these stories in a way that sparks young people's interests and invites them to join in the conversation," she said.

Ms Nabaneh maintained that "After 14 successful years, we continue to view ICDB as an innovative way to increase children's participation in the broadcasting industry".

She added that the success of ICDB hinges not only on the support of broadcasters, but also the participation of children. When young people's voices are heard, the benefits are exponential.

Ms Nabaneh, finally expressed gratitude and appreciation to this year's YPM/ICDB Celebration which is proudly sponsored by Trust Bank Gambia

Limited and Events Planning and Management, EPM

The honorable speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumatta Jahumpa

Ceesay, will serve as the Keynote Speaker of the IGDF and the event will be graced by the UNICEF Country Representative, SOS for Justice, the chairperson of EFANET Gambia and the director social welfare, Mrs. Fatou Mas Jobe Njie, a seasoned Banker currently head of Retail Banking at Bank PHB, amongst other dignitaries.

Ms Fatoumatta Ndure, a seasoned Gambian Child rights activist, alongside Lamin Manga, proprietor of UNIQUE FM are excepted to moderate the dialogue forum.

UNICEF will award the International Children's Day of Broadcasting Award to honour television and radio broadcasters who capture the spirit of the ICDB. The submission process for entries will open directly following the ICDB in spring 2009, when broadcasters will be able to submit their programs from the 2009 International Children's Day of Broadcasting. UNICEF will offer regional awards to the broadcasters which best promote the principles, purpose and main themes of ICDB. Each regional winner will be invited to New York in November 2009 and one television and one radio nominee will receive the prestigious International Children's Day of Broadcasting Awards.