By Fatou Dahaba
The Mayor of Banjul City Council, Rohey Malick Lowe, with partners on Thursday, 31st August 2023, launched a youth volunteerism project for 500 youths in the capital city at the Never Again Memorial Arch in Banjul.
The project aims to provide youths with opportunities to enhance their vocational skills, encourage volunteerism, and broaden their knowledge outside The Gambia.
The project is expected to offer five hundred youths annually, for five years, the chance to travel to Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, and Africa to strengthen their vocational skills and create more job opportunities.
So far, over five hundred youths in Banjul have completed and submitted their application forms for this project.
The Mayor of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe, said the Youth Volunteerism Project (YVP) is about skills carefully designed by professionals who understand the vital role skills play in empowering youth. She disclosed that there were hurdles and delays due to circumstances beyond their control, but these were overcome as they stood to launch the project.
In this vain, she urged the beneficiaries to use the opportunity to embrace the project, support each other, and strive to leave no one behind.’
“Together, let’s showcase the power of this initiative and attract even more partners’ she advised.
Hon. Bakary Badjie, the Minister of Youth and Sport, commended the Lord Mayor for implementing such an important initiative for the country’s youth. He said the project will help young people strengthen their vocational skills through volunteerism and responsibility.
“This project is in line with the national youth strategy plan of the Gambian Government; it is complimenting government’s efforts in promoting youth employment,” he said.
Oumie Joof, a representative from the UNDP, revealed that the Youth Volunteerism project is part of the COVID-19 relief package of the UNDP, adding that the objective of the project aims to empower the youth of Banjul through volunteer work.
The National Coordinator of REFELA-Gambia and Lady Councilor of BCC, Isatou Njie, said the project will provide youth opportunities to enhance their vocational skills and broaden their knowledge outside The Gambia through internships in other countries.
She commended the Mayor for her trust and belief bestowed on the country’s youth; on that note, she urged the young people to make good use of the project while expressing her gratitude to the UNDP and other partners for their efforts.
The youth Councilor of Banjul, Hon. Abdoulie Krubally, said youth volunteerism is crucial in building a more engaged, empathetic, and socially conscious generation that actively contributes to positive societal change.
“I would urge my fellow Young people to grab this opportunity and take it seriously because it’s a life-changing program for them.”
The Youth councilor further states that youth volunteerism can encompass various activities, including environmental conservation, education, healthcare, social services, disaster relief, advocacy, and many more.
“Therefore, you can all agree with me that this has been the trajectory in which her worship of the lord Mayor has been following, looking at the greening component of the EU project, the COVID-19 relief program, and even the last flash flood was all done by youth volunteers of Banjul through her leadership,” he explained.
The Youth Volunteerism Project is being implemented by REFELA, The Gambia, together with the United Nations South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Arab Bank for Africa (BADEA), and the UNDP Gambia.