Nov 28, 2013, 9:27 AM
A day long forum on the promotion of positive attitudes and behavioral change among youth in the country was on 20 August 2013 held at the President’s International Award Conference Hall in Bakau on the theme: “Responsible Citizenship”.
The forum, organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) under the Ministry of Youth and Sports with opinion leaders and youth leaders in Kombo North District, was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
On her welcoming remarks, Rosaline Secka of the Department of Youth and Sports, said they are very much concerned about young people’s behavioral attitudes.
“We always want to see young people succeed and become productive adults,” she said.
The forum was geared towards developing positive attitudes, competence and skills of young men and women in order to equip them for work and adult life as productive citizens.
According to her, at the end of the forum, they would have provided solutions or ways that set the agenda for attitudinal change among youth and thus enhancing more positive youth development, which will represent a major shift in the society which thinks about young people as well as change of their attitudes.
The executive secretary of the NYC, Abubacarr Sisawo, said the Government has done everything humanly possible to create opportunities for the development of youth.
He said it is the responsibility of the youth to change their attitudes for their development and make best use of opportunities given to them.
He thanked the Ministry of Trade and Employment and the UNDP for funding the programme as well as the elders and youth for their participation.
The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malang Jarsey, said the Ministry appreciates all efforts made as they strike to contribute to the Gambian’s development agenda.
He said their efforts will contribute to empowering the young people and encourage them to contribute effectively to local, national and global development agenda.
DPS Jersey further urged members of the community to continue providing opportunities for Gambia’s young people and allow them to effectively participate in national development.
For his part, Mamadi Dampha of the UNDP said The Gambia as a nation relies heavily on its youthful population, who constitutes over 60% of the population.
The country should nurture this significant human resource to achieve the national development blueprint, he said.
He advised the youth of the country to work towards empowering all who live work, or play in the communities to address social issues present in the communities.
“We need to promote activities which gather our community members, whether individuals, neighborhoods, and non-profit-making businesses, levels of government, community groups, organizations and agencies,” he said.
He added that activities should be championed which builds the communities and should believe in collaborating individuals who make difference in the communities.
Mr Dampha said it is a requirement for them as the significant human resource of the nation to believe that citizens must be provided the opportunity to communicate their needs, desire and priorities for their local communities and the country at large.
“As youth, we should participate in activities focusing on teens, families, environment, connecting neighbours and neighbourhoods, multiculturalism, violence prevention and the inclusion of people with disabilities,” he advised.
He said responsible citizenship is about individuals who realized their obligations to take actions that ensure the health, safety and security of their community, whilst adducing that a responsible citizen participates in their community to promote personal and public good.Mr Dampha however revealed that the responsibility of a citizen can be demonstrated through using appropriate strategies to resolve conflicts, demonstrating integrity and dependability, respecting and defending individuals’ rights and properties, understanding economic, and political, social and economic environmental system among others.