YPM Gambia to stage inter - generational dialogue forum as ICDB celebrations get near
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Young People in the Media (YPM) Gambia, in partnership with UNICEF Banjul office and UNIQUE FM Radio Station, is set to stage the Inter-Generational dialogue forum.
This occasion is slated for this Sunday March 1, at the UNIQUE FM Radio Station, along Garba Jahumpa road in Fajara. Accordingly, this programme is part of activities marking the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), a day when broadcasters the world over air quality programming for children, about children and by children. The most important aspect of this programme is that it provides the opportunity for children to be part of the programming and production processes, to talk about their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges in life.
TV and radio play vital role in raising awareness in child rights issues and a critical role in shaping their lives. Fatou Camara-Saidy, chairperson of the board of directors of Young People in the Media, noted that ICDB is a joint initiative of UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
She disclosed that every year, thousands of broadcasters in more than hundred countries take part in the day’s celebrations, "marking it in ways that are as unique and special as children themselves." Television and radio broadcasters, said the YPM board chair, continue to mark the International Children's Day of Broadcasting with distinctive and dynamic programming produced in their own countries.
She observed that young people are often overlooked when it comes to 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," she said, and added: "it can be challenging to find strong youth characters on television or radio, and even harder to find smart educational content that target a young audience."
According to Abdou Jatta, president YPM, The Gambia, the inter-generational dialogue forum will bring together parents, the civil society, media personalities, the young people themselves, and all other stakeholders, to discuss on the theme: ‘Unite for children - Tune in to Kids.’ This forum is expected to attract 200 young people from various schools, children and youth organizations. The following topics, according to Jatta, will be delved into during the forum: discipline, children’s participation, poverty, education, child protection against sexual abuse & exploitation; ‘almudou’ syndrome; child apprentices; corporal punishment; and cyberspace violence.
Satang Nabaneh, Gambia’s 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, and that it is important to tell these stories in a way that sparks interest in young people and inspires them to join in the conversation. She maintained that "after 14 successful years, we continue to view ICDB as an innovative way to increase children's participation in the broadcasting industry."
The success of ICDB, she said, hinges not only on the support of broadcasters, but also the participation of children. When the voice of the young is heard, the benefits are exponential. The YPM secretary general, finally expressed gratitude and appreciation to the sponsors of this year’s YPM ICDB celebrations: Trust Bank (Gambia Limited) and Events Planning and Management (EPM).
The honorable Speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, is expected to serve as the keynote speaker of the occasion which will be graced by many high profile dignitaries, among them the UNICEF country representative, SoS for Justice, chairperson of EFANET Gambia, director of Social Welfare, as well as Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie, head of Retail Banking at Bank PHB.
Fatoumatta Ndure, a Gambian child rights activist, alongside Lamin Manga, proprietor of Unique FM, is expected to moderate the forum. UNICEF uses this day to honor television and radio broadcasters who capture the spirit of the ICDB. The submission process for entries will open directly following the ICDB celebrations in spring of 2009, when broadcasters will be able to submit their programs.
UNICEF will offer regional awards to the broadcasters who promote best, the principles, purpose and main themes of ICDB. Each regional winner will be invited to New York in November 2009. One television and one radio nominee will receive the prestigious International Children's Day of Broadcasting Awards. It could be recalled that GRTS, the national broadcaster of The Gambia, have won the regional award in two consecutive years.
Author: by Kemo Cham