The Gambia Empowered Person with Physically Challenged Organization (GEPPCO), has over the weekend organized a daylong interface on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for persons with disabilities.

The move aimed to widen the understanding and knowledge of the members of GAPHOH regarding the subject matter (MIL).

Mr. Jabel Ceesay, of the Gambia Association of the Physically Disabled, dubbed GAPD said “Media and Information Literacy training, is very important because it among others avails, guarantee and empowers the persons with disabilities to effectively tell their stories with accuracy, authenticity, credibility, and reliability,”.

He said that there are not a lot of provisions given to persons with disabilities, even though they have some amenities and facilities, the persons with disabilities are not represented such as in the Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Committee at the MRC, in which committee he said the persons with disabilities are not represented.

He said that he has initiated that there is a representation of persons with disabilities on that committee so that the persons with disabilities can be factored into the activities of MRC.

Mr. Mamadou Edrissa Njie, the Executive Director of Gambia Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) explained that GYIN Gambia is a national youth network, that works across the length and breadth of the country, with both young and elderly.

The MIL training, he said is funded by UNESCO Dakar, through the UN Peace Building Fund, with GYIN Gambia as the coordinating partner, to see that the program is successful.

“This program is to inform GEPPCO members about MIL. The cornerstone of MIL is for us to ensure that the information that we obtain and post both on traditional media and social media platforms whereby we talk about mal-information, misinformation, and disinformation, are credible and authentic. These are things that are happening in our real life,” he said.

He told the participants that during their recently concluded two days training of trainers on MIL for 40 youth from 20 organizations, out of the 20 organizations, 14 understood what exactly MIL is and they have an interest to integrate MIL into their activities, while the remaining 6 did not submit their proposals.

He said that the 14 proposals received from 14 youth organizations, were reviewed by an Independent Team, and after the review, GEPPCO emerged as one of the 10 best proposals.

The 10 proposals, ED Njie said are proposals that can be implemented with or without funds saying “Because we are talking about the integration of MIL into their activities,”.

The MIL he said should be a program that should be integrated into the workplan of GEPPCO members in the year 2023 and beyond.

The MIL he added will help the participants to know, how and verify the types of information they receive and post in the media spaces, with meticulous consideration to mal-information, disinformation, and misinformation.

These he said are all information that is giving people trouble, instead of making the best use of the media.

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