EYEAFRICA TV, Banjul, The Gambia: At least 34 young girls have been awarded certificates at the conclusion of a two-month intensive training on life skills and livelihood skills organised by Village Girl Initiative (VGI); a non-governmental organization.
Held at the Kombo South Coastal village of Sanyang on Saturday, the training was organised in collaboration with Sanyang Youth Tesito Association and the Department of Community Development. The training was focused on life skills and livelihood skill such as tie and dye, soap making, and bead design.
Organisers hope that the graduation of the young girls will immensely contribute to the reduction of employment rate in the country which is causing mass movement of the country’s young people to Europe and elsewhere in the world in search of greener pasture through the high seas.
Irregular migration have led to the loss of lives of many young people in the country, who travel by unworthy boats across the Atlantic Ocean. According to UN DESA 2015 report, Gambia’s total stock of immigrants amounted to 192,540.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) also reported that over 8,498 Gambians arrived in Europe in 2017, with many others in Africa along the Central Mediterranean route now opting for voluntary return.
President of Sanyang Youth Tesito Association Muhammed Manneh appealed to the young girls to make maximum utility of what they have learnt and to help develop themselves and others around them.
“I express my sincere gratitude to the coordinators and parents for allowing their children to participate in this life changing training and IVLPAA and the US Embassy for funding the training. We wish to assure them that the investment will go a long way in creating vibrant and resilient young girls in the district,” Awa Sillah, VGI Secretary General said.
Trainer, Haddy Camara who spoke on the importance of self- employment told the graduates that they will earn more when they are self- employed than when they are employed by individuals or institutions.
One of the graduates, Aramata O Jabang told Eye Africa that the training will make a great impact on her life, saying through the knowledge gained, she will set up her own business from which she can help herself, her family and the community. “I encourage my fellow girls to learn skills, and I thank our parents, trainers and donors,” she said.
The village Girl Initiative is a non-governmental organisation established in 2016 by Aisha Saidy, a native of Sanyang Village with the sole aim of empowering women and girls through health and education.
Story written by Binta Badjie