By Kebba Jeffang
Gambia Press Union (GPA) has received a grant of Eighteen Thousand Five Hundred Euros (18, 500 euros) from the German Embassy to implement a seven month project geared towards the promotion of human rights and freedom of expression in the Gambia.
This was disclosed by Mr Saikou Jammeh, the GPU Secretary General, at a media briefing held yesterday, Thursday, 25 June 2015 at the Union’s head office at Fajara.
Mr.Jammeh said as the umbrella body of journalists in the country, the GPU is committed to protecting and promoting the rights and freedoms of its members and to creating a conducive environment for the safe practice of journalism. He said it is for this reason that they deemed it necessary to come up with initiatives to secure funding to provide the requisite training for its members and stakeholders.
“Among the objectives of this project are to sustain the global campaign of freedom of expression in the Gambia, to enhance the skills of journalists to better support the issues of human rights in the country, to raise the awareness of broadcasters on human rights, particularly the news translators for better imparting down to the community levels and to train the security officers on freedom of expression and human rights,” said the GPU SG.
Mr. Jammeh revealed that the funds will be utilised on activities such as research, surveys, workshops for journalists and CSOs as well as advocacy strategies. He added that the money will also support some GPU calendar activities such as the DeydaHydara and Chief Manneh anniversaries as an alternative funding source.
Also speaking at the briefing, Mr Lamin Jahateh, the Union’s Treasurer, said the reason why they are informing the public is to ensure transparency and accountability. He stressed that the project is meant for human rights promotion and the training will target human rights reporters.
He also noted it is the respective media houses that will be identifying participants from among their reporters but added that the beneficiaries should be committed GPU members and who understand human rights concepts.