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Youth camp a platform to harness hidden talent

Aug 6, 2015, 10:19 AM | Article By: Sulayman Ceesay

Lamin Queen Jammeh, Governor of North Bank Region (NBR), has said the youth summer camp is a platform meant to harness the hidden talent of the participants in sports and other areas.

He said this can help to identify national value through socialization and interaction and use optimum benefit to be captured.

“You have been identified among the millions, and I am hopeful that you the participants will make the best use of the camp,” he told participants during the opening of an eight-day (August 1-8, 2015) youth summer camp in Farafenni, NBR.

The camp brought together 120 youths at the age of 10-15 to share experiences and nurture their hidden talents in sport, leadership, public speaking, health and other related areas.

They will also be exposed to current affairs, human right and skills acquisition so they will be acquainted with these skills and utilize the opportunity.

The camp has been jointly organised by National Youth Council and the National Sports Council and funded by the Government of The Gambia, UNESCO, UNFPA and ChildFund.

The theme of this year’s camp is: ‘An informed Youth on Sexual Reproductive Health Right, Education and Sports is an Empowered Youth’

Alieu Kebba Jammeh, Minister of Youth and Sports (MoYS), said the Gambia government has put high premium on youth development.

“This is to ensure that the youth of this country venture into the productive sector of the economy,” he said.

According Minister Jammeh, the initiative prompted the government to establish the Songhai Gambia Project and Chamen Centre all geared towards the empowerment of youth in The Gambia.

He said the camp is aimed at instilling mutual understanding and discipline among the participants.

“We hope that you will develop certain skills during your one-week stay and to instill the sense of responsibility and discipline within you; we don’t want the society that has bad behaviour in leadership,” he said.

He challenged participants to be focused and share the skills they would learn with their colleagues who are not fortunate to be part of the camp.

Haruna Cham, a representative of the National Commission for UNESCO, said youth participation is a fundamental pillar in national development, hence the youth must therefore be seen as active partners in development.

He said this year’s summer camp is expected to build on the already achieved outcomes of the National Youth Policy as “the policy recognizes young Gambians (women and men) as an integral segment of the national human resource capital; as such they have a role and responsibility to participate fully in decision making” and all other processes of national development.

“UNESCO has a very keen interest in the crusade of youth empowerment, the National Commission being the mouthpiece of UNESCO will also continue to push the agenda of youth empowerment as we are aware of the dire need of venturing in this course considering the country’s youthful population,” he said.

According to Cham the training sessions of the youth and sports camp will be the popularization of the ECOWAS Reference Manual. The manual is for trainers and it is built on the basis of consolidating the culture of peace, human rights, citizenship, democracy and regional integration.

“It is a tool kit for use by ECOWAS Member States and for the case of our country, the manual has been translated into our local languages by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) in collaboration with the National Commission,” he said.

“This important manual is meant for any teacher trainer and trainers among the team of instructors in both formal and non-formal education systems.”