The Gambia YMCA Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio are helping to build the #WebWeWant. The Gambia’s 2013 Internet Law, under the Information Communication (Amendment) Act, has driven fear of using the Internet. Through the Web We Want grant, the Gambia YMCA Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio was able to conduct Digital Activism Training, a capacity-building programme to raise awareness among youth of the benefits of and need for a free and open Web. The programme focused in particular on the importance of creating and sharing local content on the Web, and trained these youth to become online activists in their schools and communities. YMCA Gambia advertised the program on local radio stations and through their social media channels and, prior to the start of the programme, visited schools within the greater Banjul area to recruit students for the program.
The programme ran for three weeks and consisted of about 75 young people from both public and private schools in the greater Banjul area. The first week of the programme focused on Web participation and the online rights and responsibilities of Web users. At the end of this week, students held a debate on a local radio station about whether children younger than 13 should be allowed to use the Internet unsupervised. The second week of the programme focused on online privacy and best practices for using social media. At the end of the second week, the programme hosted another debate at a local radio station on the uses, benefits and risks of social media. The final week of the programme examined blogging and online research. At the end of the programme, students were given the opportunity to present their blogs at a programme closing party, where they also received certificates for completing the digital activism course.
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