“I am a resident of Manjai kunda and a final year student at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in the commerce field.
Your education aside, what other activities do you do?
I served in various school clubs and volunteered in many ways to help my fellow children to pay their school fees through working closely with organisations to assist.
Are you a member of any organisation?
Yes, I am part of various organisations like the Voice of the Young as a co-opted member and I have served in the executive twice. I also worked for Lend a Hand Society and NAPSA. My involvement in these organisations groomed me to be a caring and a responsible person. It has also instilled some leadership qualities in me to be a hardworking adult tomorrow and to know the rights of children and what it means to volunteer in life.
Did you ever represent The Gambia outside?
Yes, early last year I went to the United States for a three-week exchange programme under the American Embassy where I developed my project on early marriage. That was my key interest and area of focus as a youth activist. I have also worked with many organisations that I am not a member of to achieve their target goals including Youth Alliance and Peace Ambassadors of The Gambia.
Where you ever involved in any major competition?
I have participated in an inter-school poetry competition organised by Young People in the Media at the Marina International School on the commemoration of the Day of the African Child. I have won many drama performances, one of which was the president’s 22nd July celebrations in Kanilai where we won an amount of D2,000,000.
Do you face any challenges in your advocacy?
Yes, the response from the public at times makes me feel very reluctant to go on with some of my activities. Sometimes people underestimate my efforts especially when advocating for the rights of children because it is always difficult to convince many people but slowly and gradually I have gained the confidence.
What is your philosophy in life and advice?
My philosophy is to see that all children are equal in all areas whether rich or poor, able-bodied or disabled. My advice is that everyone should play their part in making sure that children are free from all forms of violence that affect their growth and well-being. A single drop of rain cannot make a sound in the forest but it takes a collection of drops to do so.
Words by Sise Sawaneh]]>