Young People in the Media (YPM) in collaboration with UNICEF and the Department of Information Services (DOIS) on Monday commenced a two-day refresher training workshop on communication skills for adolescents with the theme, ‘Effective Communication: A tool for adolescent, empowerment and development’.
In her opening remarks, the Social Secretary of YPM, Marie Jeng, said the training was geared towards empowering adolescents with the communication tools that would enable them to effectively disseminate key messages to the public through various avenues on issues that affect them either directly or indirectly.
Eric Samuel Ketter, President of YPM underscored the need for stakeholders to develop themselves most especially their communication skills. This is refresher training, meaning you are not here to be taught but to be reminded of what you have already been taught. This means that a lot more is expected from you, one of which is your effective participation. We expect you to contribute more than the last time, ask questions more than the last time and answer more questions than the last time.”
The YPM President concluded that after they have acquired the skills and improve on them, they have the responsibility of making best use of those skills in their advocacy for the rights and welfare of children.
Sally Sadie Singhateh, UNICEF’s Communication Specialist, commended YPM and the government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure and the Department of Information Services for ensuring the continued strengthening of adolescents’ skills in communication through frequent training sessions. Communication, she noted, is a fundamental part of effective development at both personal and national levels.
She alerted the participants that when she talk about communication, it always refers to 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; therefore encouraging children to communicate, or express their views freely in all matters that affect them.
She went on: “It is important for children to know how to communicate effectively now because the future belongs to them. The UNFPA latest status report, Adolescents and Young People in Sub-Saharan Africa indicates that in 2014 nearly half of the world’s population (about 3 billion) was under the age of 25, and in The Gambia, 32.3% of the overall population are adolescents and young people aged 10-24 years old.”
She noted further that it is important to give all children a voice today, and skills to use this voice so that today’s most vulnerable children such as children with disabilities and very poor children, can have their problems and challenges heard first hand for consideration when policies and programmes are put in place.
Full article here http://milunesco.unaoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/YPM-in-the-news.pdf