Plan International Sierra Leone has supported two journalists- Hawa Moseray from the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation and Princetta Williams of the Africa Young Voices television to attend the Regional capacity building workshop on increased advocacy to ending child marriage through engagement of the media in Accra-Ghana from the 27th February to 1st March 2017.
The workshop was co-facilitated by African Union Commission personnel, UNICEF and Plan International and it was aimed to enhance the capacity of media practitioners with the relevant skills to investigate and report adequately on child marriage in Africa focusing mainly on the fundamental causes and the varying phases. It geared towards triggering discussions on the issue and daring all stakeholders in helping to ensure an end to the practice.
The workshop also intended to underscore the role of the media as key agents of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa through consistent positioning of child marriage in the media and public discourse.
A comprehensive presentation on the African Union position on ending child marriage was done. This position paper detailed 17 commitments on future actions that would end child marriage in Africa
Participants were made to understand and contribute to major discussions on data collection and its importance for stories and advocacy work. This was followed by vivid explanation through scenario’s and group work on ethical reporting on children. This activity opened up long but very useful discussions to enhance participants’ in-depth understanding of the topic since they would be curious to report on appealing stories of children. It was noted that ethical considerations are very important in reporting on children.
The workshop ended with each Country representatives developing action plans on how they would work to end child marriage using the media in their respective countries.
Sharing his thoughts on the program, Casely Ato Coleman, Country Director of Plan International Sierra Leone, said Plan International Sierra Leone has identified working partnership with the media as a key enabler for addressing the issue of child marriage and said Plan will invest more capacity building initiatives and resources in partnership with the MSWGCA and the media.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.