Conscience International (CI) is independent, non-partisan and non-profit human rights, environmental and development organization working in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia. This organisation is said to have come into existence in 2004 as a result of discussions among several youths.
According to Phyllis Machuka, the finance and admin officer Conscience International (CI), her organisation works to maximize the knowledge, respect and observance of human rights and to enhance the awareness of human rights, environment and development work through linkages with national, sub-regional, regional and international like-minded entities.
Records had shown that educational opportunities are not equally given to girls and boys, even though policies are formulated to be adhered to. Reports indicated that efforts are being made to ensure equitable distribution of such opportunities, contrary to number of discriminations in delivery of education by sex. Yet different types of education, such as literacy, technical and vocational education are denied to girls and women in Africa.
CI is embarking on a country wide tour in sensitising women and girls empowerment through training in schools and communities on their fundamental rights on equitable access to such opportunities. Phyllis informed this reporter that her team had trained eighteen schools and communities in Kobo South District and would proceed to Kombo Central.
CI covers not only issues concerning women and girls but a wide areas of disciplines that are meant for the development of human being and its environment.
The promotional activities of CI stem from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is one of the bases of CI’s mandate i.e. to give meaning and actuality to this article which states that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
The enrolment of girls in both upper and senior secondary schools in The Gambia had significantly increased in The Gambian schools both conventional and madarasas. This is attributable to the intervention of President Jammeh in paying school fees for girls. However, so many drop-out due to some social issues which is more prominent in rural areas.
Another weakness of our female folk is that most women seem to have accepted the idea that they are less physically capable, and unpleasant work environments of the technical field. Women have generally been known to do light jobs which are straineous and therefore require great physical exertion.
Fatou Darboe, communication officer CI, revealed during this first phase of their interactions with school girls and women in the communities that the training facilitators had come across with so many ases which taught them new lesson. She had confirmed his organisation’s training of one hundred and fifty women from Tanji village on information Technology free of charge.
Darboe confirmed that such training would continue and would be sustained for the dropouts and less fortunate who cannot meet the high costs of information technology in the other established IT institutions.
Young girls need encouragement to choose for technical and vocational education. This mostly emanates from parents, teachers and the community. The few fortunate should be models of other women and girls in the technical and vocational fields to emulate.
Conscience International has taken a right step in the right direction in sensitising women empowerment.
Training 0f Community Women on Various Human Rights
ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and Sexuality Education for Adolescent Girls Centre in Tanji
CI organized Student-March pass commemorating the International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2011
CI staff observing the 2011 Presidential Elections in Serekunda of The Gambia
Beneficiaries of the Hands Up for your Rights: A Women and Girls Empowerment Project in Tanji
Beneficiaries of the current Adult Functional Literacy and Numeracy Skills Project at Fajara - The Gambia