The West Africa Network of Peace building (WANEP) Tuesday commenced a three-day training on 'Peace building and conflict mediation' for women from the West Coast and Lower River Regions, at the conference hall of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in Bakau.
Supported by the Swedish International Development Agecy (SIDA), the training is part of the Women in Peace building Network (WIPNET) programme, which was conceived to mainstream women's participation in peace building and conflict resolution as key stakeholders and actors. The programme also serves as a platform for the mobilisation of women groups and acts as both pressure and interest groups for the promotion of peace and stability.
WANEP comprises of 20 civil society organisations who are constantly striving to build and promote a culture of peace across communities in The Gambia. The national coordinator of WANEP, Pamela Cole, told the gathering that peace building is a continuous process which can be attained through constant engagement. Gambia, she said, should be an example in the region in fighting for peace regardless of one's religion, tribe or political affiliation. "We must always keep our level of engagement and you are here so that you can all have a clue on peace building," she added.
Cole explained that the training is aimed at strengthening the capacity of women in peace building and conflict resolution mechanism and to establish regional women networks in the West Coast and Lower River Regions. She further told the gathering that peace is a fundamental requirement and its absence always leads to the thwarting of the development of countries. While calling on the participants to ensure having effective participation during the training, she equally urged them to be peace building advocates.