23 November 2015, 27 youth from various parts of Central River Region (CRR), serving as second badge of REVCEL training, converged at the Forestry camp in Janjanbureh for an 12 days entrepreneurships training organized by Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) Gambia Project.
The CORY project is coordinated Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) in collaboration with partners was preceded by an orientation meeting on the eve of 22 November, shortly after the arrival of participant at the Forestry Camp for the training.
Welcoming participants, project coordinator - Mamadou Edrisa Njie presented on the bylaws governing the training, before proceeding to Basse to facilitate similar training simultaneously held for young people in Upper River Region (URR).
CORY Gambia Project REVCEL training is for youth in CRR North and South, , jointly implemented through collaboration with the National Implementing Partners (NIPs), Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA), Village Savings and Credit Associations (V-Apex) and Jarumeh Koto Youth Development Association, among others. CORY Project- The Gambia is a new initiative that supports rural youth, women and men in West and Central Africa, to become entrepreneurs.
The Project Targets rural youth organisations, networks, groups, institutions. It encourages entrepreneurship training, advocacy, networking, knowledge exchange; and is gender sensitive.
The second badge brings the number youth trained in CRR to 50 young people targeted for the Cory project training in the region.
In his opening remarks, the CRR Deputy Governor Malang Saibo Camara expressed delight with the people of CRR for the love shown to him, and for putting him in his current position. Mr Camara recalled that he was invited to open the training of the first badge, months ago, and expressed delight for being invited to the same hall for the opening session of the second badge of trainees, who are the chosen few, out of the lots in CRR interested in the training. He therefore urged the youth to be committed to the development of the country, be sincere and take faith in their doings.
He described life as journey, with an end and that deeds are accounted for, adding: “You cannot pass ‘Sirat’ without been accounted for one’s deeds,” he said, and therefore call for honesty in whatever we do in life. He quoted the Gambian president’s assertion that ‘the sky is the limit’ in terms of development of the country.
He said government cannot create employment for everybody, but can create the conducive environment through which they can be enterprising, adding: “That is why you are here today.” He therefore encouraged participants not to attend workshop just for monetary matters, but to benefit from the knowledge sharing session.
He challenged the youth folk to take the lead in the development of the country, “without which we will fail. You must take ownership of the country to achieve sustainable development. We need to tell each other the truth if we are to develop,” he remarked. Camara finally prayed for Allah to guide us in the development process of the country.
Ms. Amie Faye GYIN-Gambia Rural Regions Coordinator said:“The goal of the CORY project is to enable young rural women and men to create sustainable farm and non-farm businesses, by building their entrepreneurial capacities for enhanced peer learning and their access to complementary business development services.
The project duration is three years from 2014 to 2017. “The project, which is supported by IFAD, will build on IFAD’s ongoing and pipeline rural-youth projects in the targeted four countries, namely: The Gambia, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroun. This will provide direct link to other countries in West and Central Africa through enhanced access to best practices, innovations, as well as access to support services required for improving rural youth investments.
‘The project is directly aligned with the IFAD Strategic Framework 2011-2015 objectives, by serving as an economic asset base that poor rural youth will utilize to build sustainable businesses and contributing directly to the reduction of poverty through raising incomes of youth in rural areas. “The CORY Consortium is being delivered by organisations with a wealth of experience, namely: Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) in Nova Scotia, Canada; Venture For All (VFA), an affiliate of the Columbia Business School in New York, USA; Susterra, Inc. in Boston, USA; and Global Youth Innovation Network International (GYIN International).
“The training will be conducted in the North Bank Region (NBR), Lower River Region (LRR), Upper River Region (URR), West Coast Region, Central River Region (CRR) North and South, were we are today, for training taking place from 23 November to 3 December 2015. The rural entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL) training targets 150 youth across the country, 25 youth from each region.
“This week's training will implement the third phase of the CORY project, where 25 rural youth will go through the entrepreneurship module of the REVCEL training, through the Columbia Business School's Venture For All program. This will equip them with the necessary tools and skills to conduct the trainings with the rural youth.
“The objective of this component is to promote the interest of the rural poor young women and men in the principles and ideas around the character, psychological and attitudinal demands of entrepreneurship, through entrepreneurial training and mentorship. “Making entrepreneurship, business management, and technical trainings available to rural poor young men and women will provide services, reduce poverty and raise incomes. The three main components of the project are knowledge management and research/survey of business development services; provision of rural entrepreneurial training, mentorship and business development services and micro-credit lending.
“The overall goal of the project is to enable young rural women and men create sustainable farm and non-farm businesses, by building their entrepreneurial capacities for enhanced peer learning and their access to complementary business development services.”
Omar Jammeh, NYC Regional Youth Chair in CRR for his part urged participants to share ideas gain with other colleagues. He reiterated the need for participants to take the training seriously. He also advise youth in CRR to be organized, and register with NYC, hosted at the CRR Governor’s office, as means of participating in national development.
The opening Ceremony was chaired by Ebrima Ganno, Executive Director of GAWFA and lead facilitator of the training. The opening ceremony was followed by a group photo. Mr. Ganno, lead facilitator of the training took participants through participatory group work presentation on business planning concept module, using Colombia Business School training manual. Participants are expected to finish the ten module training manual, before certificated.