The Bullock Kapongha Youth Development Association, a community-based organization will Saturday commemorate international youth day in Bullock village, Foni Berefet District, in the West Coast Region.
The association was formed on the 10/11/14 with the aim of bringing together young people of the village to spearhead their own development.
The association, according to its secretary general, Sarjo Jarju has been over the years investing immensely in the areas of sustainable agricultural intensification to meet the increasing food demands by engaging youth in agriculture.
“The association is planning to celebrate the International Youth Day; to once again expose our members and young people in Foni to the work of the National Youth Council, NYC and the opportunities available for rural youths,” he said, speaking to the Standard recently.
“It could be recalled that last year, 2016, Bullock Kapongha Youth Development Association in collaboration with GYIN Gambia celebrated International Youth Day “Tesitoo”. The event brought together 250 youths across the country to discuss opportunities available in the agribusiness sectors in the country as well as youth in agriculture,” he said.
He said the association consists of 525 members of which 215 males, and 310 females, “given the fact that an estimated of 61% of the Gambian Population are youth is a clear indication that youth are the cream of any society that is yarning for development.”
Adding: “The fact that youth still face the problems of unemployment, access to finance and other opportunities, “makes them very vulnerable in the Gambian society.”
Bullock, he said like many other towns and villages is faced with high level of illegal migration and rural-urban drift, “which has crumbled so many households and families. Wealth’s has been shattered through the “Back-way syndrome”, including loss of family members and dear love ones.”
He said many young people are abandoning agriculture and rural areas, “but for our members, we have seen agriculture in its business perspective for better life and livelihoods opportunities in the village.”
Jarju further stressed that his community is also faced with increased level of school drop-outs among the youth.
This, he said is as a result of high level of poverty, which has led to the increasing number of unskilled youth especially the young women who have been faced with teenage pregnancy.
“It is against this backdrop that the Kapongha Youth Development Association deemed it necessary to come together to mobilize funds to assist the community to spearhead its development by improving the lives and livelihood patterns of the people particularly the young ones,” he said.
He said as part of events marking the celebration, the association is proposing to launch a rehabilitated Community Market, “the Community Market rehabilitation was done by the association as part of its contribution to the socio-economic development of the community.”
“We now have a Youth Garden supported by the Nema project- the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded project of which as part of the Community Market launching; we would link the young (girls) in the village with the garden scheme,” he said.
He said the association will also launch the Bullock Green Initiative, “the Bullock Green Initiative is geared towards combating climate change thus plant fruit trees in the community.”
He said the following events will be marked during the celebration: Handing-over the Community Market to the village women, link the market vendors with middlemen (vegetable and crops sellers), Planting of fruit trees to combat climate change among host of others.