Banjul, The Gambia: City of Peace
Welcome to Cheikh Top and his colleagues who have established Banjul in The Gambia as a city of peace. Their initiative, along with other groups in Africa, is Peace December, which is a movement to encourage peace activities during the last month of the year.
Note: Introduction page with information primarily at the time of joining International Cities of Peace. For updates, please contact the liaison.
To see all creatures on each and live peacefully together in perfect harmony. This initiative was born from necessitate to end crime and violence. It is also a call to Peace, respect and responsibility. It appealed to all governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to come celebrate the month of December as a month of international Peace.
To create and promote different programs of Peace and Non-violence especially during the month of December.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
The name of the association shall be called PEACE DECEMBER GAMBIA. The group was initiated and established on the 5th of September, 2017. The association is a non-political.
December is the month that signals attitudinal change for most people. Preaching the doctrines of peace will attack reshuffled attitudes in the subsequent year. Nights are long and, between the increased darkness and the changing social patterns that ensue from the December holidays, many communities experience increased incidents of violence, larceny, and hate crime. Many communities have traditions of bringing light to this darker time of year: candles are lit for Kwanza and Hanukah, trees are decorated with lights for Christmas, and fireplaces and decorative lights are enjoyed by all. Peace December is our way of shining a more proverbial light into the darkness of winter by creating programming aimed directly at combating the darkness within our society. Instead of the darkness of violence, hatred and intolerance, we hope to promote the light of peace, respect, and diversity.
Declaring December a Peace Month will not only reduce violence but create a communal sense of responsibility to focus our minds on programs that lead to peace. It is an excellent way to enter a new year.
PROPOSED PROGRAMS DURING PEACE DECEMBER
(i) General Programmatic Landscape in Reflecting on Peace- All activities taking place Senegambia in December must be commensurate with an awareness of peace. This may take different forms be it in the churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, community centers, schools, for-profit companies or law enforcement activities. This concept will not offer any guided prescription on how this will be done. It will be at the prerogative of the individual, the organizing party or any undertaking that will be doing any activity in Senegambia.
(ii) Community Joint Collaborative Programs with the District Attorney’s Offices and the law enforcement community. – Both the community and law enforcement agencies, the District Attorneys, the PDG, families and community leaders will choose a day within December on which the residents will surrender their illegal guns and other weapons without questions asked. The modalities and implications that may come with this exercise may be discussed with the concerned parties ahead of December.
(iii) Peaceful Roses- Renewal of vows by couples, families and committed individuals during Peace December shall strengthen bonds, rejuvenate relationships, protect family values and prevent juvenile delinquencies. It is highly recommended for families to have Peace December dinners, whereby members ask forgiveness from each other, couples exchange roses and employers celebrate harmony day.
(iv) Peace Patrol- Mentors, leaders, educators, politicians, Law enforcement, volunteers, others…, set a day (s) to spend mentoring time with the youth and those susceptible to committing crimes.
(v) Peace Shopping- We encourage all consumers to avoid buying tools of violence, including bomb making materials, nuclear/ biological weapons, illegal firearms, hate-promoting materials, violent toys and gadgets, advertisements in violent media, etc…
(vi) Media & entertainment Peace-Media programming, traditional sports (wrestling contests, “zimba Gaide”, etc.), cultural dance, cultural music, musical festival, masquerade performances, and sports activities must all recognize Peace December.
(vii) Diplomatic Diaspora Peace- Since Senegambia is home to not only the United Nations, but also to people from all nations, UN permanent representatives holding forums and events during December dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence among their nationals in the city would pave ways for national peaceful dialogues in their home countries.
(viii) Story-sharing for peace- Sharing stories of survival, pain, abuse, injustice, actions, feelings, forgiveness and forward-planning on the side of crime victims, as well remorse, repent, repair and asking genuine forgiveness on the side of perpetrators, bring healing and closure to a crime.
(ix) Preservation of Nature and Animal Life- For example the Special Prevention for the Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) in conjunction with Advocates for animals and organizations such as the Abuko Nature Reserve may host a series of activities to raise awareness on easing human cruelty towards animals.
(x) Disaster Relief and Community Development- Different groups can also focus on global disasters such as the Tsunami, flood, Open area dumping and other disasters that have called for peaceful coalitions to solve environmental problems.
(xi) Peace Advocacy- During December, we encourage citizens to engage their elected officials in sponsoring sensible bills, despite special interest group lobbying to the contrary. Legislators must work with and allocate funds for peace and nonviolence programs in their localities.
(xii) Public Safety Roses- Flowers presented to law enforcement personnel or individuals who have prevented stopped or catch a criminal who have committed a crime, including criminal cold cases and rape.
(xiii) Peace December Chapters- Individuals and organizations are encouraged to open Peace December chapters in big cities worldwide.
Peace December Lighting Ceremony
Peace December Lighting Ceremony is held every November 30th to welcome the arrival of the month of peace, Peace December. And Peace December Calendars of events that would take place during the month are distributed at this event.
The day is filled with peace scene, messages, entertainment and interactions among diverse residents of the community where the celebration is held. Senegambia Televisions will carry the events live.
Peace December Lights are switched on by special invited guest at 4:30 PM as the Sun is setting.
As concern Senegambia citizens and resident of Brikama and its surroundings, in Kombo Central District, of West Coast Region, of the Republic of the Gambia expressing our common goal and desire to join hands in order to advocates for peace and also enhance living condition of youths by engaging in mobilizing resources and giving livelihood skills training. The need to contribute to the socio-economic development of our communities, the country and Senegambia at large decided to form this viable association. The group is a Charitable and non-profit making one.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE LIGHTING CELEBRATION:
- Enhance strategic awareness in violent crime reductions.
- Promote peace and reduce homicides and domestic violence cases.
- Inspire inter agency and inter community coalitions that will cross fertilize ideas in the quest to eradicate crime in the city.
- Foster the voice of faith based houses in crime reduction.
- Facilitate experience sharing experiences from families and communities.
- Clergies of all faith to dedicate all their sermons in December to Peace & nonviolence.
- Public and Private Schools in Senegambia to observe a Peace Day in December. And
- To promote public lighting of Peace December lights in houses, businesses, houses of worship, political offices, United Nations Headquarters, OIC Headquarters, EU Headquarters, AU Headquarters and others.
PEACE IN SCHOOLS
Proposed Bill to install peace awareness week in Public Schools:
Activity Plans and General Requests
- During this week, we ask businesses, academics and people of goodwill to partner with the Senegambia to assume conversations in creating endowments and funds through which teachers and parents will spend time in enriching students and the community during the awareness week as proposed herein.
- Sponsor a community/elected officials/public schools planning caucuses to put together key benchmarks for operational of this initiative.
- Besides the Department of Education, identify the State and City auspices under which peace awareness week shall be installed
SECTION ONE: ORGANZATION / COMMITTEE
ARTICLE 1: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE GROUP
AIMES AND OBJECTIVES THE LIGHTING CELEBERATION:
i) Enhance strategic awareness in violent crime reductions.
ii) Promote peace and reduce homicides and domestic violence cases.
iii) Inspire inter agency and inter community coalitions that will cross fertilize ideas in the quest to eradicate crime in the city.
iv) Foster the voice of faith based houses in crime reduction.
v) Facilitate experience sharing experiences from families and communities.
vi) Clergies of all faith to dedicate all their sermons in December to Peace & nonviolence.
vii) Public and Private Schools in Senegambia to observe a Peace Day in December. And
viii) To promote public lighting of Peace December lights in houses, businesses, houses of worship, political offices, United Nations Headquarters, OIC Headquarters, EU Headquarters, AU Headquarters and others.
Letter of Intent
ABOUT CHEIKH TOP
“My name is Cheikh Omar Top as my name for the baptism and Cheikh Top in Gambia. My originality is Senegal where I was born on March 1, 1990 in a village called Medina Tobène.
“My father had left this village during my childhood to return to the land of his great grandparents: The Gambia. I am part of a polygamous family, I am the first son of my mother.
“I went to school Q’uranique firstly and western school in 1999 in the vicinity of my grandmother in Koungheul city (a department of the region of Kaffrine). I left senegal to come to the Gambia in 2008 after the death of my father. I continued my studies at the Senegalese high school in Banjul and then at the Gambia college.
“I initiated a team of Peace December in 2013 until today by the grace of an American-Senegambian uncle named Sheikh Moussa Drammeh. My team and I were blessed with an international trip to a Peace Meeting and “African Union Day”. I am a teacher of French in the secondary schools of the Gambia. I am single with no children.
For more information please contact:
The President of Peace December
Tel (+220) 7892290 / 6162144 / 3732144.
ABOUT BANJUL, THE GAMBIA (from wikipedia)
Banjul, officially the City of Banjul and formerly known as Bathurst, is the capital of the Gambia and is in a division of the same name. The population of the city proper is 34,828, with the Greater Banjul Area, which includes the City of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council, at a population of 357,238 (2003 census). Banjul is on St Mary’s Island (Banjul Island), where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. The island is connected to the mainland to the west and the rest of Greater Banjul Area via bridges. There are also ferries linking Banjul to the mainland at the other side of the river.
Banjul takes its name from the Mandé people who gathered specific fibres on the island, which were used in the manufacture of ropes. Bang julo is the Mandinka (Mande) word for rope fibre. The mispronunciation led to the word Banjul.
The Gambia, officially the Islamic Republic of The Gambia is a country in West Africa mostly surrounded by Senegal with a short strip of its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean at its western end. It is the smallest country in mainland Africa.
The Gambia is situated on either side of the Gambia River, the nation’s namesake, which flows through the centre of The Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 10,689 square kilometres (4,127 sq mi) with a population of 1,882,450 at the April 2013 census (provisional). Banjul is the Gambian capital, and the largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama.
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