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NAYCONF NOC briefs media on level of preparedness

Jun 27, 2014, 9:49 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The National Organising Committee (NOC) of the 2014 National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) on Wednesday 25th June 2014 briefed the media on the level of preparedness for the big event.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Independence Stadium Friendship Hotel, Lamin Darboe, the program manager National Youth Council, said the theme for this year’s NAYCONF is: “Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development”.

Mr Darboe added that this year’s NAYCONF will be held in December in Jarra Soma town in the Lower River Region, and would bring together 1,500 participants.

He added that13 sub-committees- Conference, Accommodation, Heath and Sanitation, Culture and Award, Security and Safety, Marketing and Publicity, Feeding, Store and Supply, Secretariat, Finance, Transport and Operations, Sports and Oversight - have been put in place to support the preparations.

The regions have already started their arrangements and preparations for the event, he stated, adding that a local organising committee was establish and inaugurated at Soma in February 2014.

Darboe said the culture sub-committee has developed rules and guidelines for cultural participation, which will be distributed to all regions.

They have also identified Soma Lower Basic School as the venue to host for cultural events, while the Beauty Pageant will be held at the RDI Hall in Mansakonko.

They are now working on identifying the musicians for the cultural nights, the judges for the competition and trainers for the beauty pageant, he also announced.

The marketing and publicity sub-committee will organise a fund-raising Gala Dinner at Paradise Suites Hotel with Gambian artistes, including four top rap groups and Jaliba Kuyateh, adding that the committee targets 150 tables (platinum, gold and silver) with 1000 individual tickets.

The gala is schedule to take place on 1st November 2014, he went on.

The relevant committee is also working on the theme song for NAYCONF, and has selected four artistes to produce the song.

During the inauguration of the NOC, institutions, companies and individuals pledged to contribute their quotas towards the event, he stated, and the marketing and publicity sub-committee is making follow-ups on those pledges.

The Gambia government has already committed D1 million to NAYCONF 2014.

The transport and operations sub-committee has prepared an operations budget covering the operations of the committee, Darboe went on.

The committee has negotiated and secured a contract with DJ Lamin Cham to cover the entire programme of NAYCONF; collect an invoice from Jah OIL Company covering the estimates for the supply of fuel for the event; tabulate the projected transport needs and allocation of vehicles to various committees and office bearers; prepare a draft operational plan covering logistic support needs on transportation, activities and advocacy; secure a vehicle that transports the NOC to Jarra Soma for a strategic organisational visit, and formulated some draft rules and regulations regarding the use of vehicles before, during and after the event.

The NAYCONF is where young people from across the country gather to discuss, interface with partners and stakeholders, decision makers and duty bearers to come up, at the end of the conference, with recommendations that are compiled and submitted to government, the National Youth Council and other critical partners and all stakeholders, including young people.

Pakaliding Youth Centre has been identified to host the 2014 Conference component of NAYCONF, he announced, and a total of 150 participants were expected to participate in the conference component with 10 young people from each region, two (2) from national youth organisations, as well as international delegates.

Commenting on the accommodation sub-committee’s report, he said delegates will be accommodated at Soma Lower Basic School.

The health sub-committee, he further reported, has this year initiated and included the ‘NAYCONF WERRGUYARAM’, which will be like a daily sensitization activity to educate delegates on basic health and sanitation issues.

A NAYCONF Health Post will also be at Soma Lower Basic School to provide the daily health needs of young people, that will gather at the event, to ensure that first-aid services including any other health concerns of the participants are addressed on time, effectively and efficiently.

A health fair will also be organised by the health sub-committee to ensure that young people have access to adequate and accurate information in terms of their health needs, during NAYCONF.

The security and safety sub-committee has also made their recommendations.

The feeding sub-committee will coordinate and supervise the feeding of delegates, and has allocated 7 cooking points for the regions within Soma LBS.

There will be a central cooking point for the national organising committee, and about 2, 000 liters of water will be available in addition to the water points that are available within the school.

The stores and supplies sub-committee will be responsible for materials purchased for NAYCONF, which will all be stored at a central location, and goods will only be delivered on request.

The secretariat sub-committee is expected to facilitate and support all secretarial needs of the sub-committees, as well as NAYCONF. The secretariat sub-committee is expected to also compile reports of all sub-committees.

All participants will be provided a name tag to ensure every participant is identified, as recommended by the security and safety sub-committee.

The finance sub-committee has been put in place to ensure transparency and accountability.

A budget of 4.9 million dalasi is set for NAYCONF 2014, and other other sub-committees are to help the marketing and publicity committee in ensuring that the amount is raised before December 2014.

The sports sub-committee has also been put in place as various sports such as wrestling, volleyball, basketball, male and female football, athletics, Paralympics, and other sports will be competed for.

The wrestling will take place at the Soma LBS while other games will take place at the Mini Stadium, he added.

An oversight sub-committee is put in place to monitor, and give daily advise to all sub-committees.

On behalf of the NOC and NYC, Darboe thanked the government for the continuous support to the young people of The Gambia.

He also thanked the governors, mayors, area councilc, alkalos, sefos and young people in all parts of the country.

“This year’s NAYCONF should be a NAYCONF with a difference, and the challenge lies on all of us”.

He therefore called for support from the private sector and other stakeholders engaged in the youth development arena.