By: Salifu M. Touray
The National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG) recently organized financial literacy training for young beneficiaries of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)’s mini grant scheme at the union’s head office in Bakau.
The YEP mini grant targets 250 youth of which the first batch targets 50 and the mini grant is a three (3) year initiative funded by the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP as part of a four-year initiative funded by the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
In his welcoming statement, Mr. Patrick Mendy, NACCUG Head of Administrations and Finance, says his office works with communities to improve their livelihood through savings, financial literacy training, onsite and offsite monitoring of credit union transactions and microfinance service delivery. He reminds the grant beneficiaries that the mini grant scheme builds on the initiatives of the 11 million euro EU funded project which aims to enhance the employability and self-employment opportunities for the youth, with a focus on vocational training and the creation of micro and small-sized enterprises and creating and improving employment opportunities in selected sectors through value addition and internationalization.
“The first phase of the mini grant is very important, because if the first phase failed, it would be difficult for us to continue with the second phase; therefore, I urged all of you to fasten your belts to make sure that the money is spent wisely to have an impact on your lives as well as others,” he remarked. Mr. Mendy disclosed that his office received more than 100 applications from young people and they were still receiving application across the country but was quick to say that the mini grant committee only approved applications that could have progressive bearing with quality results. “NACCUG will ensure that the mini grant scheme is managed effectively and efficiently,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr. Saikou Touray, NACCUG Mini Grant Officer, disclosed that his office would use its management structure for the successful implementation and monitoring while emphasizing more on innovation. He told beneficiaries to be honest when submitting invoices for payment while encouraging them to continue striving hard.
Mr. Suwaibou Cham, Research and Survey Manager and Mr. Bakary Bojang, Graduation Microfinance and Financial Literacy Officer of NACCUG did presentations focusing on various approaches to keep viable businesses as young entrepreneurs.