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GRCS 2009 Youth Bantaba Slated for August

Feb 23, 2009, 8:11 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

The bi-annual youth bantaba of The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) has been schedule for August 1st to 10th this year The Point can confirm.

The officials of GRCS, volunteers and other stakeholders last Friday convened a launch ceremony and press briefing to officially unveil the synopsis of the forthcoming bi-annual youth gathering.  

Speaking on the occasion, Katim Touray, acting secretary general of GRCS, revealed that the theme of the bantaba is "our world, your move", which he said is also the slogan for the celebration of 150 years of the battle of Solferino and the 60 years of the Geneva Convention.

According to him, the bantaba is a forum where young people gather to discuss issues that are of concern to their health, development, growth and social wellbeing. "It also provides them an opportunity to build their capacity to enhance their strength in responding to humanitarian challenges," said Katim Touray.

Ousman O Jallow, national youth director GRCS, said that this year's bantaba will discuss issues including peace and conflict resolution, HIV/AIDs, first aid, climate change, dissemination of Red Cross ideals, and road safety among others.

Ismaila Gibba, chairperson of the National Organizing Committee of the event, revealed this year's bantaba will be held in the Central River Region and shall bring together over 300 young people from across The Gambia and beyond.

He further revealed that a total amount of over D721,000 is required to make the youth gathering successful. He appealed to partners and stakeholders in the field of youth empowerment to contribute significantly to make the bi-annual youth forum a success and historic.

In a solidarity statement, Lt.Colonel Yankuba Drammeh Chief of Army Staff  deputizing the Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces  reassured the GRSC of his office's fullest and unrelenting support.

He commended the GRCS for what he called "a laudable initiative in bringing together youths to ponder and critically analyzed top provoking and pertinent international and national concerned." He described investing in youth as a worthwhile venture.

Mrs. Fatou Mass Jobe, president GRCS, advised youths that the bantaba should be a forum where should sit and examine their roles not just as not only volunteers but future leaders of the country. "It should be a forum where by you will sit and highlight all the barriers that affect your effective participation and you agree on a roadmap to enhance your effective and supportive role as volunteers in nation building," said Madam Jobe. 

She further advised the volunteers to always act in a spirit of humanity without any form of discrimination and to believe in themselves.

According to her, the support of their partners has resulted to the success of their previous bantabas thus encouraged them to come forward once more.