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Interview with Mrs Awa Jobarteh-Njie, Vice Chair, ONBE

May 13, 2011, 3:09 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

Hello and a warm welcome to yet another edition of She She She, your weekly column dealing on issues relating to women in the country and beyond.

In our today’s edition, we published an interview we had with Mrs Awa Jobarteh-Njie, Vice Chair lady of Operation No Back-way to Europe (ONBE).

In this interview, Mrs Jobarteh-Njie dealt among others, issues relating to the work of Operation No Back-way to Europe.

Please read on:

She She She – Thank you very much for granting us this interview, Can you first tell about your organization?

Mrs Jobarteh-Njie - ONBE is a non-profit making organization formed by group of individuals who are one time victims through Atlantic Oceans and desert. Among them embraced scholars, teachers, social workers, freelancers… etc. who have been contributing their quota in socio-economic development of this country.

This organization has the vision and mission of enlightening intended illegal migrants from jeopardizing their precious lives and properties. ONBE is optimistic of transforming the mindset of youths from back-way syndromes through vigorous sensitization campaigns and counseling. Albeit with little or no resources, but desired, commitment and perseverance, ONBE commenced its operation on a door-to-door sensitization campaign; where members’ personal experience and eye witness to the manner of inhuman treatments, especially beside dead colleges who were buried like stray animals, were like piercing people’s heart sympathetically and filling with joy of truth and trust, one can ever count on.

Because of the trust people bestowed on ONBE, volunteers emerged wherever visited and open invitation from all over the country was well sought. The campaign gained momentum and Brikama Area Council became the first to sponsor followed by councils in each region. There came networking and voluntary set up of “Operation No Back-way to Europe” (ONBE) country wide.

Contextually, the organization has national executives, which is the highest body administering the affairs of the organization in constant consultation with its direct regional representatives and council of elders. His Excellency the president and Head of State Sheikh Pr. Dr.Yaya AJJ Jammeh being ONBE adopted Father.  ONBE was establish in 2007 and legally registered with Attorney General’s Chamber in August 2008 with an office complex in Brufut, Ghana Town.

She She She - What are the objectives of ONBE?

Mrs Jobarteh-Njie - One of the toughest tasks ONBE executives are preoccupied with on a daily basis is how to abrogate and eradicate illegal migration. In order to achieve our noble objectives, ONBE envisaged amongst its activities give priority to educate and enlighten through thorough sensitization and counseling; so as to up root IGNORANCE from our communities, regions and schools…etc forming part of our short term policy administrations. Whilst medium and long term plans has to dealt with promulgation and propagation of sustainable projects vital for procurement of employments and provides funding for education to eradicate cause and push factors of illegal migration.

She She She - What are some of ONBE’s challenges?

Mrs Jobarteh-Njie - ONBE in its embryonic stage of development cannot be immune by constraints that are associated with any new uprising organization, more so if it spread along the entire length and breadth of the country; in addition to popularity self explanatory in its engagement activities crucial to development of youths within shortest possible time. These constraints are themselves seen by ONBE as challenges nucleus to which was IGNORANCE and UNDER UNEMPLOYMENT as far as illegal migration is concern. ONBE with its enormous noble duty and concerted efforts is beset by constraints other than finance such as:

1. Creating employment to deter and dissuade victims from embarking on illegal migration.

2. Affordability of cost for pursuance of victims’ education.

3. Sensitizing community with different philosophies and levels of understanding at all regions.

4. Logistics to commute to and from various regions.

5. Positive respond to written proposals for implementation.

However, the organization has resolved most of its prevailing conditions beside creation of avenues for employment and opportunity for some members to pursue a course of study. Three members were among the new intakes as immigration officers, three members secured scholarship for secretariats and two members yet to graduate in July from GTTI through NYSS. All was possible through bilateral cooperation with stakeholders and partners in development and more of such are yet to happen. Above all, five of the hundred hectares offered to ONBE by the community of Jenoi, Jarra West has been cultivated with Nerika Rice variety, which also engaged youths and provided rice seeds, fertilizers and salary focal person for coordination courtesy of Taiwanese Embassy and his invincible supportive technical team. Benevolence of Her Excellency Aja Isatou Njie Saidy, who initially supported us with four (4) bags of Nerika rice seeds and liaised ONBE with Taiwanese kind hearted man Dr Shih; as consequence of low turn out at Gala Dinner organized by ONBE in its giant stride, to secure funding for Jenoi Farm cultivation, Schools sensitization and two weeks Youth Bantaba to discourage illegal migration.

Ignorance and logistic are partially solved to certain extend which calls for frequent tour to regions most hard hit by illegal migration.

In view of all constraints our achievements were noticed, recognized and rewarded by The Ministry of youths and Sports for the supply of power tillers, seeds etc. donated double cabin pick-up vehicle by His Excellency Head of State and ONBE adopted Father and The Government 2010 Award of the insignia “ORG”. US Embassy DHRF grants activity one recently implemented with the training of twenty-five members country-wide to breed trainers in their respective regions for restitution and replication in combating illegal migration and trafficking in person. ONBE represented as prominent NGO to sub regional conference on practical information besides refugees and migration in general held in Guinea Bissau, flight and accommodation arrangements were offered courtesy of UNHCR and ECOWAS. 

She She She – Thank you once again for grating us this interview.

Mrs Jobarteh-Njie – It’s a pleasure