Monday, February 7, 2011


NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Gambia Young Men Christian Council Associations (YMCA) through its Big Lottery Fund (BLF) funded project recently organised national capacity building workshop at the paradise suites hotel. Participants were youth advocates, local government authorities, national assembly memebers, coummunity leaders, parents and the media. 
The workshop was designed with the view to galavnize support in addressing the youth employment scourge and its courses ponding challenges, Mr. Joseph Peacock YMCA  programs secretary/ BLF funded project coordinator disclosed while giving the national object of the workshop. 
      According to Peacock since 2008, the Big Lottery Fund has been engaging in such workshops adding that "our BLF funded project youth advocates have never failed to impress me with their dynamism and dedication. 
"I have the privilege and pleasure to work with a dynamic talented and nationally experienced youth advocates in each of the regions in he country."Together we have focused our efforts on expanding and improving the lives of marginalized young people by encouraging them to take part in the ongoing vocational skills training."

    He added; "the project has trained one thousand six hundred as seventeen (1617) young people in over hundred (100) communities in about (20) twenty different skills . He emphasised that  the three- day workshop is designed to set a conducive working  environment for the youth through the following objectives to discuss the rights based service provision and key human rights issues such as the problem of forced labour and child labour to mobilize local policy makers to press on the commitments made by government to youth employment issues create an enabling environment to monitor  the  extent to which local government allocates funding to youth employment issues to build the capacity of duty bearers on major youth employment further interventions in their regions and to review the commitments made by the government  with regards youth employment  and enterprise development with a view to generating the political will for its implementation in each region. 
   The outlines objectives, according to him, is to continue to take great pride in the achievements of their beneficiaries and partners noting that they are putting The Gambia YMCA BLF funded project experience into action in order to further keep economic status and livelihood. He stated that they have already set the grounds for the workshop two years ago through a strategic shift in mind changing and dialogue with communities duty bearers local government authorities and central government . 
    Project Cordinator Peacock told participant "with almost half of the world's population under age 25 investments in young people is vital in improving the economic and social outcomes and most significantly achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) of which the gambia with a youthful population of about 64% is no exception, the employment rights and working environment of youths need to be properly scrutinized in order to have professionally skilled workforce. raising awareness on the many ignored challenges facing young people at work peacod said is paramount and need urgent attention," he debunk.  He further noted that policy makers practitoners and advocates should work together to mobilize and engage new partners in youth development .
  Speaking earlier on, Mr. Oremi Joiner National Chairperson Gambia YMCA explained that over the years The Gambia YMCAs has championed youth employment issues and sustainable livelihood programs for both urban and rural youth. These, he said is culminated in the implementation of the present BLF funded project in life skills and enterprise development for marginalized and disadvantage young people. 
Giving back ground information about The Gambia YMCAs Joiner stated that the organization is an ecumerical youth organization that is registered as a national Non- Governmental Organisation in The Gambia since june 1979.  Joiner added that its programs are geared towards developing the full potential of young people by creating opportunities for their positives participation in national development .
 The Gambia YMCAs, he buttressed also advocates for the total development of the body mind and sprit of young people and women irrespective of faith age extra and social condition. declaring  the workshop pans sheriff gomez minister for youth and sports said the need to empower and build the capacity of youth to make them proactive and invloved to bring about positive change and understanding especially with regards legal instruments supporting youth employ ability and economic justice key in any development process. He added that The Gambia continues to enjoy a very youthful population but was quick to that we are facing alot  of development challenges in the areas of economic livelihood.
Speaking on the importance of the workshop and shortly before declaring it opens, Gambian Minister of Youth and Sport Mr. Sheriff ML Gomez said that the country really needed youths for development saying that young people suffer more as they form the core of the workforce in the  country. Gomez recognized the need for a consolidated approach geared towards their protection from all forms of abuse discrimination and violence. He says standing in solidarity with youth will really protect the future. He finally thanked YMCAs for organising the workshop, and called others to emulate YMCAs activities.

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