Safety training for female journalists took place in El Fasher, North Darfur state, on 14-16 May 2017. The training session was organized by the African Union and United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and conducted by the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) – being a part of country’s initiative of the International Programme for Developing Communications (IPDC) and Khartoum office of UNESCO. Twenty-three women-journalists including eight information officers of UNAMID were trained to manage their personal security risks – from all states of Darfur. This was a third training of the series initiated by UNESCO and IPDC. First training took place in Khartoum in February-March, second – in Wad Medani in April.
On 14 May 2017, the opening ceremony of the training was honored by the Minister of Culture of the North Darfur, Mr. Hamza Abbas, who represented the Governor of the state, Mr. Abdulwahid Yousuf. The minister emphasized the role of media in raising the resilience of the society and underlined the necessity to have well-skilled journalists in the industry, who are able to manage the existing state’s challenges. The Minister thanked UNESCO, UNAMID and SJU for contributing to the capacities of Darfur female journalists, acknowledging in the same time their role in Darfur’s media.
Mr. Carlos Araujo, the Chief of UNAMID’s Communications and Public Information, valued the uniqueness of the training and indicated its importance for female journalists. He pointed out that such training is in line with UNAMID's efforts in Darfur, and he promised to think about involving more beneficiaries in the initiative.
Ms. Hadia Ali, the Head of Women Department of the SJU, appreciated the partnership with UNESCO and called the international organizations to assist the Union in building the capacities of the journalists strengthening their skillsets. She explained the SJU’s Safety Program with IPDC and UNESCO, and thanked Mr. Pavel Kroupkine, the Head of the Khartoum office of UNESCO for his continuous efforts in supporting the initiative.
On 16 of May 2017, the training was ended in presence of state government, UNAMID, SJU and media officials. During closing ceremony, Mr. Carlos Araujo esteemed the success of the training, the inclusive participation and the harmony between the participants. He expressed his gratitude to the partnership between UNAMID, SJU and UNESCO’s office in Khartoum. On behalf of all trainees, Ms. Fatima Mohammed expressed the participants’ pleasure of attending the training and added that the curriculum was flexible and well-suited for the realities of the region. In the end, Ms. Hadia Ali thanked the organizers, trainees, donors and other partners involved.