May 19, 2011, 3:05 PM
The Sanyang Youth Testito Association's Children Wing (SYTA) last Saturday embarked on a cleansing exercise at the Sanyang Lower Basic School in the Kombo South District of Western Region.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter shortly after the exercise, the chairperson of the group, Sharif K. Bojang, said SYTA has been in existence since 2001.
For the past three years, he noted, the association was somehow dormant in their operations. However, he added, after holding a successful congress recently and drawing on the cooperation and support of the community elders and youths, the association has again been able to engage in several activities.
He added that conducting cleansing exercise in the community was a regular activity of the association, he said, adding that prior to the Sanyang Lower Basic School cleaning initiative, they had also cleansed the Sanyang Health Centre, the village market and the community football field.
Mr. Bojang said they also organised youth bantabas through which they inspire and encourage the youths to join and cooperate with the association as well as make them more responsible by preparing them for life's challenges. "Government cannot do it alone," he said. "The youths need to complement the government’s efforts by taking part in meaningful development initiatives.
"We don't want to be seen as a burden in society; therefore there is a need to change our mindsets to serve as an agent in society."
He also said the association is a fully registered entity with the AG chambers and the National Youth Council.
Speaking on the occasion, the school management chairman, Ousman Jarsey, said the initiative was a step in the right direction. He commended SYTA for chosen the school, noting that if the school were to do the exercise on their own, it would cost them a lot of money.
He also applauded their invaluable efforts saying the initiative had saved the students precious time to carry on with their classes uninterrupted.
According to Mr. Jarsey, since he came to the school years ago, the SYTA cleansing exercise was the soundest initiative he had witnessed from the youths in the community.
Omar Chorr, a Quranic teacher, says cleansing creates good health. "Human beings cannot carry their duties properly if they do not have good health," Mr. Chorr said, adding: "Allah said He is clean and He only accepts what is clean."
He also urged the youths to be united, work for progress and took the good cleansing initiative to other places and environments. "This is what the President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, is advocating for," he added.
For his part, Essa Bojang, one of the senior masters at the school, commended SYTA for the laudable efforts, saying: "I could not believe my eyes when he saw the youths cleaning the environment."
He added that the gesture had prompted them to reinvigorate their lessons on environmental cleansing without further ado.
Mr. Bojang also called on philanthropists, the government and NGOs to support SYTA.