Gambia continues to see some of its youthful men and sometimes women embarking
on the perilous journey to Europe and elsewhere in the world through the high
seas in search of greener pasture, a youth-led organization in the country
called Youth Against Irregular Migration (YAIM), will today begin a nationwide
caravan to increase awareness on irregular migration and help reduce incidence
of mass movement in the country.
Formed by the second batch of Gambian migrant returnees from Libya who arrived in the country in April, last year, YAIM members now want to build awareness among young people and families to understand that there are huge economic and life loss in irregular migration.
30 youth including returnees, journalists, youth organizations and students will be part of the caravan. Radio talk shows will be held at Kerewan and Farafenni community radio stations to reach a wider audience. The German government through their Banjul office supports the caravan.
Gambia’s Ministry of Interior, through Gambia Immigration Department (GID), National Youth Council (NYC), Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia chapter officials will be part of the speakers.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Mustapha Sallah, secretary general of the association said the caravan would raise awareness on the dangers of irregular migration and share opportunities available in the country with youth especially those in the rural areas.
He said they will start in the North Bank Region from 15th to 19th January and the second one will be in the Central River Region North from 24th to 28th February and other regions will follow that.
As part of the caravan, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) Gambia Mini-Grant will be discussed and a platform will be created to sensitize the regions on YEP activities as well as the Mini-Grant.
Mr. Sallah said during the caravan, young people would be linked to some of the opportunities that GYIN Gambia and NYC among a host of organizations are providing to young people across the country. He recognized the efforts of GYIN Gambia, saying that “since we arrived, GYIN Gambia leadership has been coaching and mentoring us to be well organized.”
He said GYIN Gambia has changed their lives through their coaching and mentoring, always ensuring that that they are not frustrated in their own country by linking them to relevant authorities for partnership.
Karamo Keita, chairperson of the organization said during the caravan, there will be a night programme where they will be screening documentaries to create more awareness.
Mr. Keita said YAIM has invited some successful young entrepreneurs to share their success stories with the communities that, he said will help inspire students and youth to venture into business to create jobs for themselves.
“I also want to thank the German government for supporting the caravan, GYIN Gambia for the coaching and mentoring since we arrived in the country to date as well as our members and partners”.