Aug 1, 2013, 12:11 PM
Young People in the Media (YPM) over the weekend held a one-day literary competition for senior secondary schools in the Greater Banjul Area at Marina Senior Secondary School.
YPM is an organization with a vision to create the ultimate platform through which young people can communicate their dreams, challenges, and hopes, among others, through the mass media for a better future.
In her opening statement, Haddijatou Fofana, the President of YPM, said her organization is a non political organization, where young people come together to address issues challenging them and their progress.
She added that in executing their mandate, YPM has been engaged in sensitization programmes through drama, poems and talent display, adding that everybody is gifted in one way or the other.
She noted that YPM recently organized a competition that took the shape of gathering young talented people who demonstrated their abilities in poem recitation and other artistic means of expression. She said the recently held programme at Unique FM radio station was a clear manifestation of the commitment YPM has for the youthful population.
Speaking about the negative effect of indiscipline, she said indiscipline is a character that has a general negative impact on the lives of people and society.
She challenged young people to inculcate discipline in them, as well as to nurture a good character that would pay positive dividends to their lives in the long or short run.
Fatou Camara-Saidy, the chairperson of the YPM board, said the media has become an essential tool for safeguarding the rights and welfare of children, noting that in the field of disseminating information, the media plays an indispensable role in the society and state.
"The media is an opportunity for children to voice out their opinion on issues affecting them," she noted, adding that young people have the capacity, courage and expertise to forge a brighter life, and that YPM would play a role in facilitating this.
Mrs Zono Jammeh, the headmistress of St. Therese's junior school expressed her gratitude to YPM for being invited as the guest speaker.
While emphasizing on the theme discipline, she maintained that discipline could be defined as the ability to control one's behavior, so that one behaves well. She enjoined young people to have a vision and develop a positive attitude. She concluded that attitudinal change and positive thinking are important to the welfare of young people.
Madam Oumou Taal, the National Director SOS Children's Village The Gambia, expressed similar sentiments. She asserted that discipline is essential in the education of children, adding that training that should commence at home, and that parents should serve as role models at this level. 'Inculcate discipline into your children at an early age,' she advised.
Speaking further, Ms Taal added that discipline is one of the first traits a child should be taught.
She charged young people to emulate the good attitude of their elders, noting that when a child's hands are clean, he or she is invited to eat with elders.
"The media is powerful in the life of the people. Use the media to educate, sensitize and inform for the promotion of the rights of the child," she added.
Marchel Mendy, the Executive Secretary National Youth Council who represented the Ministry of Youth and Sports, thanked all the schools that participated. He acknowledged the role YPM plays in youth empowerment, and expressed the commitment of the Ministry to implement youth programmes in the country.
There were many activities held on the occasion, including a arts exhibitions by St. John's School for the Deaf; a high school drama competition, in which Charles Fowlis won the trophy for the senior schools category, and poetry recitation, which Glory Baptist won in the junior school category.