By Dawda Baldeh
Youth volunteers in Kiang West together with the district’s youth committee launched its first ever Awakening Convergence on the premise to ‘Unlocking Youths Potentials Through Alternative Opportunities’.
The one-day meeting held in the village of Keneba featured revelation of opportunities at regional, and national levels and beyond for young men and women who the organizers believed are more often than not, either left out in the race for rural development.
The subjects ranged from entrepreneurial mind-setting, access to finance and above all, rural youth grouping.
The International organization for Migration (IOM) has a financial backstop through which the event extended on migration awareness for the rural youth. Thirty-three different communities embraced the awakening program with their youth pledging to make Kiang even better place for living.
Awa J Bah, Kiang West District Chairperson, said the meeting is relevant to the entire community of Kiang and called the youths to work hard and contribute their quarter in rural development.
She said Entrepreneurial learning for young people is hugely beneficial, in addition to finding out how to start a business, they acquire practical skills and positive attitudes: greater awareness of society, a sharpened appetite for active engagement, new competences and confidence to play a part.
Lamin M.A Colley, Lower River Regional Officer for IOM, said, the training will help to minimize the rate of illegal migration. Lot of the youths has risked their lives through the illegal roots to the western Mediterranean in search for greener posture.
He added Migration affects rural agricultural system and as a result it creates huge challenges in the society.
Ebrima Bah, Co-ordinator of the Kiang West Youth Convergence, Youth convergence program gives promising young entrepreneurs access to resources and skills providing the best chance for the success of their new businesses. Youths will have the opportunity to start their own business after the training.
Mr Bah added youths are the hopes of the country and they need to work hard for the betterment of their own country. A nation cannot develop in the absence of the youth therefore; youths serve as a strong pillar in nation’s development.
Ousman Sanneh, Lower River Regional Youth Committee, MC, Yaya Minteh, Saikou M Jobe of Youth and Sports Ministry and Momodou Manneh Kiang Banta Ward Councillor who joined the meeting and Keneba VDC Chairman all graced the convergence to stand in solidarity with the youth of the area.
Organizers and participants expressed profound appreciation to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), for setting light a among youths in Kiang adding it will go a long way in addressing migration and unemployment challenges.
Ismaila Njie a participant said, this youth convergence is very significant for the youths. It is aimed to bring Kiang West youths together. We also need development and that cannot be seen in the absence of the youths. Am calling on my fellow youths to be self motivated and employed. Youths serve as a strong pillar in national development.