Mar 4, 2013, 10:53 AM
Members of the National Youth Council (NYC) recently held a press conference at their office at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
The press briefing was meant to inform journalists of their activities and programmes.
Speaking at the press conference, Marchel Mendy, executive secretary of the NYC, highlighted the activities implemented by the council during the past 12 months.
He said that on 6 January 2012 they inaugurated a new governing council for NYC followed by an introductory meeting held the same day.
Mendy said that two NYC governing council meetings were conducted in Bakau and Brikama in January and March 2011 respectively.
He further disclosed that an emergency meeting was held in June 2011 which was centred on the Presidential tour, July 22 celebrations, youth forum, and youth participation in farming activities as called for by the President.
“With financial support from the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Commonwealth Day was celebrated in Farafenni. In this celebration, representative youth groups from the BCC, KMC and WCR were transported to the venue.”
He added that during the period under review, three computers with internet connection were installed at the Pakalinding Youth Centre and “the facility is working fine”.
He said that with support from UNFPA the same centre had been re-painted and a cash power installed, for which the NYC paid a debt of over ten thousand dalasi that the centre owed NAWEC for the instalment of the metre.
He revealed that the UNFPA had also supported the NYC Secretariat with two computers and two 3G Express data cards to improve service delivery.
The NYC boss recalled that they conducted training for 20 youths in CRR on life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention and the trainees reached out to 500 young people which was also supported by the UNFPA.
Mr Mendy also said the Ministry of Youth and Sports also supported the NYC by printing seven banners and mobilizing through its regional structures.
He added that a three-man delegation comprising the NYC executive secretary, Adama Mbye of African Solidarity for Action and Augustus Gomez of Youth Ambassador of Peace attended a 10-day youth camp from 9 and 19 August 2011 in Guinea Bissau organised by Guinea Bissau National Youth Council (Conselho National de Juventude).
Also in partnership with the Women’s Bureau, a one-day consultative forum was held with youth and children organization to discuss and voice their views on the domestic violation bill and sexual offences bill on 16 September 2011 and also summer camps were organised by Youth Ambassadors of Peace and the Gambia Red Cross Society Youth Commission, which attracted over 500 youths, adding that the NYC facilitated the leadership class of the GRS youth Bantaba in July and September 2011 respectively.
Mr Mendy asserted that some of the major constraints the NYC had been facing, which include some of the ministries or departments dealing directly with certain youth organizations without the knowledge of the NYC.
“While other organizations are referred to NYC by the same ministries or departments for assistance, the lack of youth representation to some meetings or conferences to discuss issues that border young people, poor response by departments or institutions to the holiday jobs project among others are all our challenges.”
Mendy calls for help in order for NYC to strengthen its resource mobilization’s strategy and advocacy programmes, to continue both staff and other institutional capacity-building needs of the council and its local structures.
He called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports to support staff training at all levels and the ministry should assist NYC in getting a youth programme at GRTS, both at the TV and Radio stations.
The NYC, established by an Act of Parliament, aims among other thing at facilitating youth employment for active participation in national development, supporting and encouraging active participation in the process of development of policies and programmes.
“It’s also to facilitate the socio-economic and cultural development of youths in the country and facilitating youth networking and exchange at national and international level,” he noted.