Sep 27, 2010, 1:12 PM
The first edition of the youth summer camp kicked off on Saturday at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
The opening ceremony attracted a huge number of participants from across the nation.
The ceremony was officially opened by the Youth & Sports minister Alieu K. Jammeh.
In his remarks, the minister thanked the Head of State and government for creating an environment conducive for peace and stability to prevail in the country.
Minister Jammeh further thanked the partners and the sponsors for ensuring a successful camp.
He also commended parents for entrusting their children to them for the camp.
Hon. Jammeh assured the parents and the public that their children would always be well protected and cared for.
This has been the first edition, but it is going to be an annual programme on rotational basis, he said, adding that it will help youth from KMC, BCC and WCR to travel to other regions, such as Basse and places they have never visited.
He urged the participants to appreciate the nation’s cultural and traditional values, saying: “We can only show out that we are Gambians or Africans through certain characteristics that define us as Gambians or Africans.”
He urged the young participants to appreciate responsibilities such as patriotism, productivity and piousness.
He said young people should develop and maintain good values, understanding, respect for each other, and be good future leaders.
Despite the various religious backgrounds, ethnicities and geographical areas, he said, the kids could fraternize among themselves and maintain everlasting relationships to be one people as they continue to meet at the summer camp.
While talking about the significance of the camp, Minister Jammeh also told the youth to have love for sport and take the beautiful game seriously.
The acting-director of youth and sports, Pa Suwareh Faye, in his remarks, said the Ministry of Youth and Sports has part of its 2010-2019 youth and sports policies and programmes of action to ensure excellence in sport through mass participation as well as to develop, equip and train a youthful population who are the engine of the socio-economic growth in the nation.
The youth need to be equipped to be responsible and better citizens in the future, he remarks, saying this is one of the reasons the youth were gathered to give them the requisite skills, knowledge and everlasting bond they might not have had were they retained at home.