May 7, 2009, 5:21 AM
The Gambia Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) recently organised a two-day National Advocacy Refresher Training and Exposure Activity workshop for regional advocacy groups at its main office in Kanifing.
The training, which brought together twenty participants from each region in the country, was conducted on the theme “Youth entrepreneur rights - a national challenge”.
Speaking on the occasion, Joseph Peacock, programme coordinator of the YMCA, said the training was part of the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) funded project.
According him, the BLF funding is a four-year project on skills training, micro-finance, and advocacy on youth and employment development issues.
Mr Peacock revealed that the aim of the forum was among others to create a platform for regional sharing of best practice to build alliances among youth advocates, to provide new advocacy skills and techniques and to learn rights-based approach to effective change on issues effecting youth employability.
“Since the inception of the BLF project, spearheaded by our partner YCare International, the Gambia YMCA has trained 1619 youths on life skills and entrepreneurship development,” Mr Peacock said.
He revealed that since 2008, the YMCA has been organising such training for regional advocacy groups to disseminate the knowledge of life skills and entrepreneurship development to various regions across the country.
“As youths, we suppose to be an agent of change in society; not to be an instrument to use alone,” he said.
He also says youth employment is a priority for the YMCA.
Adama Najib, a trainee of the YMCA, asserted that since her joining the YMCA skills training centre, she had benefited a lot.
According to her, she is now having a decent job from where she earns her living.
She thanked the YMCA for helping them with funds to start their ventures and life journey.
She also called on the youth to make good use of the training opportunity they are being given by the YMCA.