Jan 18, 2010, 12:14 PM
The meeting, held at Gunjur Tarud Pre-school, brought together youth from all parts of Gunjur and its environs to discuss the level of unemployment in the village.
Addressing the gathering, Lamin Janneh, chairman of the taskforce, said the majority of the population is constituted by young people who are frustrated by the dim prospects of employment.
He noted that there are many young people graduating from Grade 12 and GTTI with no minimal or job opportunities who end up frustrated and engaging in bad acts such as stealing, taking drugs and related vices.
“We felt that in order to create a peaceful society and develop our community these young people must be helped to acquire skills that will generate employment for them,” he said.
The aim of this forum, he added, was to provide opportunity for young people to identify key areas they would try to help themselves in to achieve gainful employment.
Ebrima Jatta said the youth of Gunjur have the determination to succeed in life despite the challenges they face, adding that the problem is sometimes lack of equipment, encouragement and mentorship.
Mariama Jammeh, a tailor instructor, said the community’s unemployment travails could be significantly mitigated with more sensitization and training for young girls who graduate from school and only stay at home.
Speaking on behalf of the women’s leader of the Gnansimba, Joko Bako Barrow, revealed that the increasing number of young people out of work has left the plurality of the womenfolk in the community looking to the future with a sense of fear.
“We are deeply concerned with the realization that our children do not have opportunities of gainful employment to support us at old age,” she said.
“We have no hope in our old age greater than our children in whom we have invested our miniscule resources to put through school. It is a matter of priority to us that the issue is addressed without delay.”
Representing the Alkalo and Seyfo respectively, Omar Bojang and Omar Barrow were unanimous in agreement that the huge problem of youth employment merits urgent attention.