Youth Innovation Network –GYIN- The Gambia has graduated their first cohort of
people trained on Youth Mentorship Programme at the Rural Development Institute
–RDI- in Mansakonko, Lower River Region.
The programme enlisted twenty-five young people who went through an intensive three months mentoring on enterprise management with support from the Youth Empowerment Project.
The Network’s executive director Mamadou Edrisa Njie said the graduation represented a successful pilot to a larger component of youth mentorship business in the country. He said enrolment into the mentorship programme was opened to young people who have once attended either entrepreneurial, leadership or information technology summer camp; rural entrepreneurship venture creation and experimental learning or rural youth award finalists, which were all powered by GYIN – Gambia. He said proof of training on business fundamentals from any recognise institution within or outside the country was also considered.
Mr. Njie embraced the support given to them by the European Union –EU- through the Youth Empowerment Project –YEP- and partnership with the Managers’ Prescription Consultancy Firm on the programme.
Musa Bah, a senior education officer at the Mansakonko regional education directorate and guest speaker of the occasion said it is out of his knowledge that GYIN – Gambia has clear goals and realistic vision, stating that the Network’s activities are in line with the sustainable development goals such as the target to end poverty, hunger, promotion of agriculture, and promotion of good health and wellbeing.
The educationist cum Justice of Peace asserted that mentorship, being a professional relationship between a more experienced person and a mentee who is less experienced is a performance oriented teaching and learning process.
“One of the most important aspects in mentorship is the hope it gives to young persons on the availability of resourceful persons who care about them. As a result, the mentee is compelled to meet all expectations on the subject of the mentorship.”
Speaking on behalf of the implementing partners, Ousman Sonko, managing partner of Managers’ Prescription Consultancy Firm said the three month long exercise has recruited fully fledged mentors on business enterprises.
He said the task was the first of its kind for his team of trainers, saying the journey was not smooth as it required meeting of complete coverage of their training modules, and thorough attention to mentees’ individual case differences.
Mr. Sonko expressed conviction that the trained mentees are prepared to give mentorship services, and improve on their own business perceptions irrespective of given resources, and challenges.
Raimund Moser, project manager of Youth Empowerment Project –YEP- noted that the idea that resulted in the support of his project is the potential in the mentorship programme to earn more young people good share in local and global markets. “Judging by the graduation trend, the cycle of mentorship will eventually entangle the entire youth population if the mentees become mentors and mentors become supervisors.”
The YEP project manager encouraged the grandaunts to build on their business foundations and take advantage of the grand initiative through his office meant to reinforce the efforts of young people in the Gambia.
Kemo Sawo, a mentee from Upper River Region Wuli Fadiakunda said the mentorship programme has helped him to develop his business based on the skill he learned.
He hailed the efforts of GYIN-Gambia for reaching out to him in Wuli to be part of the mentorship programme which, according to him, has made him proud in his community because he is the first person to be part of a mentorship programme.