The Young People in the Media (YPM) the Gambia, during the weekend observed International Children's Day of Broadcasting, at a ceremony held at Unique FM Radio in Bakau.
The intergenerational dialogue forum that was funded by Child Fund The Gambia, was meant to open a forum to discuss matters that affect youths, with the theme: 'Encouraging our pace setters'.
Speaking at the occasion, Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, former speaker of the National Assembly, challenged the youth to be respectful, obedient, tolerant and hardworking. She further advised them to respect their elders and teachers and take their education very seriously. According to her, the media is a diplomatic tool, which transmits information from the four corners of the world.
Adama Leigh Bah, the president of YPM, said that YPM as an organisation is working towards enhancing the socio-economic and cultural lives of young people through the media. She noted that young people should concentrate on awareness creation and attainment of wisdom in life.
She hailed the organisation for all its efforts since inception, making reference to their radio talk shows and other activities, geared towardspromoting young people in the media. "We need to be given the opportunities to showcase our hidden talents and potentials to the fullest; our responsibility should be held with perseverance and not to be destroyed by more hostile environment of our society," Bah stated.
For her part, Fanta Sidibeh, deputising for the board chairperson of YPM, described this year's theme; which is, "encouraging our pace setters", as very important and fitting. She affirmed that the media fraternity in The Gambia has always been vigilant when it comes to issues related to children.This, she said, is a clearly manifestated bythe UNICEF/ICDB award won by the Gambia in two consecutive years.
According to her, the media is the most powerful tool that has the potential to expose and fight against the violation of the rights of children. Sidibeh added that the television station needs to advocate free airtime for children and print media's needs to dedicate more columns, which will give children the chance to discover their talents and hidden potentials.
The representative from Child Fund the Gambia, Yasainey Gaye, expressed delight to be part of the initiative saying that Child Fund The Gambia believed that the well-being of all children leads to the well-being of the world. That is why, she said, they empower children to thrive throughout all stages of life and become leaders of change.
She revealed that the core objective of Child Fund to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children has the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change to their communities.