youth development advocacy groups from The Gambia and Senegalese southern
region of Casamance have recently ended a five-day awareness campaign on
irregular migration held in Siffoe village.
In 2015, Young People Without Borders (YPWB) from Siffoe, Kombo South and COPI from Sindian entered into a partnership in the areas of cross-border development integration in environment, peace building, social and cultural integration with a two-year rotational leadership, calling themselves People Without Borders for Peace and Development.
Over 100 young people from Siffoe, Sindian and some Danish partners have participated in the five days intensive campaign at the YPWB skills center in Siffoe.
Kalifa Kanteh, president of YPWB and the current president of the partnership said irregular migration is today one of the most disturbing issue, saying the campaign targets to encourage young people to believe in themselves and that they can succeed ‘here’ even without traveling to Europe.
He said the gathering had provided participants the guidelines to make informed decisions and choices to tap the resources and opportunities available to them in their countries and communities.
Abdoulie Touray, secretary general of the partnership said many young people venture into irregular migration due to peer and family influence, saying it is possible to be successful here without traveling to the West.
Amadou Afe Badjie, an adopted father of the partnership said young people can be the driving force of any nation if they organise themselves and tap from the ideologies of progress.
Presenting a paper on irregular migration and the available opportunities for young people in The Gambia, National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) program manager Yusupha Bojang said government is trying to put in place some opportunities which young people can make use of.
He said rural communities are usually the highest victims of irregular migration, calling on families and friends to give support to their people instead of encouraging them to venture into irregular migration. “The option is to tell them about some of the opportunities available here to inspire them to stay and work . Some of these opportunities include the YEP project and the just recently ended TAFCON entrepreneurship competition.”