Conscience International Organises Seminar on Combating Child Marriage

By Rohey Jadama

Conscience International (CI), a Non- governmental organization in the Gambia, with support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives   on Saturday 5 March, 2016 held a day long seminar on combating early child and forced marriages for Ward councillors in Kanifing, at the KMC’s Hall.

According to the organisers, the seminar is organised with the intention to prevent the occurrences   of early   child and forced marriages through coordinated actions by community leaders to improve access to quality education and other socio-economic opportunities in order to realise the fullest potential of both boys and girls.

The aim of the seminar was to enhance the capacity of the councillors in KMC to effectively address structural elements that lead to early child and forced marriages in the Gambia despite national legislation.

Mr. Samuel Mendy , the Program Assistant of Conscience International(CI) , said the seminar seeks to add its  voice to the global efforts by drawing attention  to the problem of early child and forced marriage around the world.

“ It will afford the participants the opportunity to collaborate and forge ahead as community leaders to eliminate the menace. Also, this will help to develop and adopt commitment on ending early child and forced marriages; and foster collaboration among community councillors in KMC to exchanging best practices  and effective tools  to combat early child and forced marriages in their respective communities”, said the CI Program Assistant.

Deputizing for the Chief Executive Officer of KMC,   Mr. Bakary . B. Darboe, the Manager of Community Services, said Conscience International has been operating in the country for more than a decade and KMC has always been their partner and that they have really impacted in the lives of the people of KMC.

The Manager of Community Services expressed hope that the one day seminar will go a long way in enhancing the capabilities of the participants in trying to put an end to early child and forced marriages.

“Early child and forced marriages is becoming very common in some of the regions in the Gambia and we will definitely stand by Conscience International in their endeavour to make sure that it is not reduced but stopped. I hope   and believe that with our concerted efforts we can do that”, he said.