The International Trade Centre through its United Nations Peace Building Fund project has made significant strides in promoting peacebuilding initiatives through its support of the 4th edition of the Umoja Camp. The camp, organized by the Gambia Red Cross Society's Kanifing Municipality Red Cross Branch, has successfully brought together approximately 350 young people from various parts of the country to engage in capacity building, networking, and personal growth.
One particular class that received support from the Peace Building Fund project is the Peace and Conflict Resolution class. Facilitated by Peace Hub the Gambia, this class consisted of 75 youth, with 13 individuals chosen from districts in Foni.
Dodou Sanyang, the leader of the participants from Foni, who was also among the community members met during the PBF project’s preliminary consultations in Foni, explained the reasoning behind their decision to attend the Peace and Conflict Resolution class. He acknowledged the delicate circumstances in Foni and emphasized the importance of collective action.
"Instead of us going into different classes, I suggested, and we all agreed to attend the Peace and Conflict Resolution class. This would help us widen our understanding in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, dialogue, and mediation. There is strength in numbers, so all of us being in the same class is very important for the maintenance of peace, especially in Foni," Dodou asserted.
The support provided by ITC’s PBF project for the Peace and Conflict Resolution class is crucial in empowering young people to play a central role in mediating conflict and fostering sustainable peace. Dodou highlighted the significance of this opportunity, particularly for the participants from Foni. "Looking at the class, all the participants from Foni are young people. And we represent all the districts across Foni. This is to ensure that we are able to spread the message of peace in not just a few districts, but all across Foni."
The 10-day Umoja Camp is a platform for young individuals from diverse backgrounds to come together, learn from each other, and build networks for effective collaboration.
This initiative is particularly significant in Foni, where the current situation is volatile. By equipping young people with the tools to handle conflict resolution, peacebuilding, dialogue, and mediation, the PBF project is fostering a sense of unity and resilience among the participants.
As Dodou aptly put it, "There is strength in numbers," and through their participation in this class, the young people from Foni, as well as the rest of the class are not only gaining valuable knowledge but also creating a network of like-minded individuals committed to peace. Therefore, the PBF project's support to this class is creating a generation of peacebuilders who will play a vital role in resolving conflicts and fostering sustainable peace.
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