The camp is intended to raise awareness on the importance of the human demographic dividend, and encourage young people to go in for skills acquisition and unity among youths within the municipality.
It also seeks to cultivate an environment necessary to endear young people to their roots, with a view to reinforcing self-esteem, pride and psychological stability necessary for their lives, dreams and aspirations to become a reality.
“The venue of the camp according to organizers will be at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, from April 1-7, 2015.
The camp is expected to bring together 200 young people from across the municipality under thetheme: “Pursuing the Demographic Dividend and Skills Acquisition.”
However, “D1.7 million is needed for the camp,” organizers said.
Speaking to journalists during a press conference on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, Babucarr Kebbeh, vice chairperson of the KMYC, said the camp would develop a rational strategy for the municipality that would direct the municipal council on youth-related issues to ensure that young people grow to become responsible citizens.
“Young people matter! They matter because the unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today; they matter because they are the shapers and leaders of the global future,” he said.
He said youths’ participation in the socio-economic development has the desired effect of providing linkages to all sectors of human activity by developing young people to have the potential to transform and indeed fast-track infrastructural development.
He added that a practical skills training course that serves as a real life starting point for participants (youths) would be a key indicator of the importance of the gathering.
“The camp has two components, Academics and Skills Acquisition. Under skills will be shoe making, tie & dye and cake baking, while on academics the participants will discuss issues affecting youths’ development within the municipality and come up with resolutions,” he said.
The government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports recognizes that skills acquisition serves as a catalyst in achieving Vision 2020, and by extension contributes to poverty alleviation, he went on.
However, he said, in order to attain this lofty dream of ours, it requires a consultative and coordinated approach.
It was believed that with this forum created, there would be the assurance of the way forward for Gambia’s young people, thus contributing to the socio-economic development of our motherland, The Gambia.
He said they are convinced that promoting mass participation in skills acquisition at all levels would go a long way in instilling national pride, unity and cohesion among the youth, the future leaders and also map out a strategy for development.
He said promoting a healthy, active lifestyle through skills acquisition and exercise is an obvious benefit. The effects of performance-enhancing drugs on a young person’s body could be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening.
“It is too easy to talk about the demographic dividend in terms of monetary value, savings and economic growth, but it must be pursued by government and its stakeholders to harness to achieve inclusive growth, offer opportunities and well-being for all,” he said.
According to him, the gathering of these youth in a weeklong discussion would engage policy makers and top government institutions and agencies, including the differently-able persons (persons with disability).
“It shall have a great way for young people to be able champion the advocacy of the pursuance of DD by the government of The Gambia and its key stakeholders,” he said.
Jarga E. Gaye, head of logistics, said this camp is the first of its kind within the municipality and even the country.
He said the committee has already identified a venue for the camp, and all committees are working tirelessly to make sure that the event become a success.
He said the committee needs D1.7 million for the successful implementation of the camp, while calling on all companies, institutions and NGOs within the municipality to support this very important initiative.
“We intend to direct our selection through all the five constituencies and wards, each selecting a limited of 15 and schools within the municipality,” he said.
Adama Sabally, youth coordinator Kanifing Municipality (KM), said the camp would help in enhancing the capacity of young people of the municipality.
He said youths are the most vulnerable sector of the society, and bringing them together to discuss issues affecting them and how to address that is in the right direction.“If young people of the municipality commit themselves to come together to discuss issues affecting their development, and how to contribute to the development of the municipality and the country, it is indeed worth supporting,” he said.