NCCE Conducts ‘Face to Face’ Meeting in Sandu Kuraw In EU Funded Access to Justice Project

By Kebba Jeffang
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) under the European
Union (EU) Access to Justice and Legal Education Project on Monday,
10th May, 2016 held a face to face sensitization of the community ofSandu Kuraw on legal and civic education and how to access justice.
This activity is part of a pilot project that is being implemented in
three communities in the Gambia including Brikama, Kwinella and now in
Kuraw.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Morro Jeffang, representing  the village
Alkalo, Alhagie Musa Jeffang, welcomed the participants and
facilitators, including the EU Project representative, Shelley
Liberto, Lawyer Fafa Mbye, and NCCE officials such as Isatou Bittaye,
Senior Programme Officer, among others. He expressed delight for
receiving such important messages concerning their legal and civic
rights and responsibilities. He assured that the information received
will be put into good use.

Mr. Demba Bah, representing the Chief of Sandu district, said they are
proud that such an important event is taking place in their district.

Mr. Jahara Juwara, the Chairman of the Basse Area Council, who also
represented the regional Governor of the Upper River Region (URR),
said for the past days, they have been learning as community leaders
about something that is of paramount importance to their work. He
underscored the importance of having knowledge of one’s civic or legal
rights and responsibilities.

He urged for more of these initiatives in the region to sensitise the
populace on rights and accessibility to justice.

Mr. Yusupha Bojang, Assistant Programme Officer at NCCE, in his
opening remarks, thanked the EU for funding such a much needed
project.

He said this is the final ‘Face to Face’ meeting under the project
which followed two ones held in Brikama and Kwinella.

Mr. Bojang said the objective of the project is to sensitise the
Gambian people on their civic and legal righty and how to access
justice in every part of the country. He described it as an opportunity
as institutions such as NCCE, ADRS, FLAG and NALA have converged to
discuss and share the knowledge on these issues with the local
communities.

“This is a rare opportunity for any community in this country,
therefore you should take full advantage of it by discussing and
asking about whatever you don’t know without any cost,” said the NCCE
official.

Delivering his presentation on ‘Fundamental human rights’, Mr. Junkung
K. Saidy, Civic Officer of NCCE, said rights are enshrined in the
Constitution of the Gambia and should be protected. He said such
rights include right to life, liberty, property, marriage, freedom of
speech, expression and assembly.

Mr Saidy said the State has the obligation to respect and uphold the
principles of those rights unless the law says otherwise. However, he
noted that every freedom has a responsibility which people should
understand as well.

Madam Lama Barrow, acting Coordinator of the Female Lawyers
Association of the Gambia (FLAG), who presented on ‘Women’s Right to
Justice’, said the rights of women are important and should be
observed. She said by virtue of the Gambian Constitution and the
Women’s Act, the right to marry is a fundamental right to a girl child
and a woman. She said marriage should be based on consent of both
parties and not by force. She said traditional barriers or other
trivial considerations should not cause the denial of marriage between
two consented partners.