By Bubacarr Gaye
The launching ceremony was held at the Tallinding Youth Center. YFSD is a nonprofit and a non-religious organization working towards the promotion of employment and education as well as the improvement of the livelihood of its members and the community at large. It was established in 2022. YFSD aspires to enhance human capacity by nurturing skills. It seeks to strengthen and improve market access for women and youths to start small business enterprises.
Ebrima Gassama, the Chairperson of the YFSD said the organization has been engaging in various activities at local community levels to contribute to improving the living conditions of the people in the communities such activities include general cleansing (setsetal) of the environments and collective actions to support affected members and flood victims of the community. He explained that the organization has fostered strong community bonds in the area which has motivated the youth in the area to further pursue their targeted goals to enhance socio-economic development in the communities.
“We want all youth to achieve their full potential and our motivation and task are to make it possible. Our mission is to provide practical, step-by-step assistance and to change the narratives surrounding youths by turning all the socio-economic mishaps in our communities into creating opportunities for the youth”, he stated.
Fatou Juka Darboe, an innovator and co-founder of Make 3D Company Ltd., said people have recently seen a surge in technology in the Gambia, especially in mobile technology and financial technology. She preached that women should be empowered to harness their potential in the area of technology and other fields.
Ousman Touray, from the University of the Gambia, said economic constraints are the core factor that led to migration. On the other hand, he said migration is a contributing factor to our survival as a nation and to our economy as a country.
“When we migrate, we should always be inspired to go back to where we come from and render services based on our different capacities and create impact in communities,” he emphasized.
Touray stressed that most of the advanced countries that we look up to, experience migration in one way or the other, their people went outside their comfort zone, explore the world and come back to their countries and engineer genuine development in communities.
“Today, there are massive projects, multi-billion dollars project in Ethiopia; not funded by organizations, but funded by people in the diaspora, funded by Ethiopian migrants who left the core of their own territory to explore other avenues and come back and impact. That is The Gambia we want and that is the migration we foresee”, he explained.
He called on YFSD to use the organization as a hook for skills, mentor young individuals and instil the spirit of ‘Gambia First’.
“YFSD should build something not only scope to this community but serve as a model to other Gambians in getting explore to the other part of the world,” he said.
The Secretary General of YFDS, Ebrima K Ceesay highlighted they have different projects they earmarked for 2023 including a women empowerment project, tree planting exercise, youth development and leadership workshop and mentorship programmes, football tournament and other programs.
“These programmes promote positive outcomes by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and giving the support that is needed to develop young people’s assets and prevent risky behaviours”, he added.
Ceesay called for support from donors and other agencies to implement their programs.