The award organised by youth and child rights activist, Fanta Sidibeh, is aimed at creating mentorship for young people as well award and honor the contribution of individuals and institutions in the area of child rights protection and promotion.
Welcoming the guests, Miss Sidibeh said: “Today we are celebrating the fact that some people have stood up and taken up actions .Today we are celebrating enthusiasm, commitment and shared hard work. The JYF is a legally registered organisation that aims to support and consolidate the efforts of children and youths in The Gambia towards social justice, promoting the rights of the child and empowering the youth. We are inspired by a vision of an environment where the voice of the youth will be heard to be given knowledge and support to effectively use it to create change in their lives. It is an organisation formed to bring ideas for common platform and to tackle burning issues affecting rights of children and youths in The Gambia.
“The award recognises the significant role-played by individuals and institutions in protection and promotion of child rights and empowerment of youths in The Gambia. Today is a day to celebrate our success. It is a day to introduce our mentors and role models to emulate and importantly, to have an avenue to create mentorship for young people in The Gambia. The award recognises the contribution of individuals and organisations paving the way for youth and children’s development. Enthusiasm is often neglected as a force, yet without it, there will be few achievements. These awardees today demonstrated enthusiasm and provided true answers for all that there is no short cut to success in life”.
She added: “As a country, we must takes tock of a canker worm that is eating into the fabric of our society and movement of desperation. Many youths are taking up the journey to Europe through ‘back –way.’
I am optimistic that there is potential in this country. There is hope in this country and youths can make it in this country without embarking on illegal migration to Europe as demonstrated by our mentors this night. To end illegal migration, there is need for collective action to change the narrow minds and misconception in our youths. We need change and the only way is to come together in platform where we can interact and share scores of burning issues.”
The guest speaker of the award ceremony, Hannah Foster, executive director at the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, spoke on the theme of the award illegal migration.
“Youths between 14 and 25 constitute a third of the total international migrants flow worldwide and youths between 25-29 form 50% of migrants. Our youths are not static; they are moving all over the world including Africa and in particular The Gambia which is not an exception to the trend. Young people travel for better lives to improve their conditions. There are down sides, and when we look at the downside, we see regular media reports about is what happening to African youths dying at sea trying to reach Europe.”
Faith Cole, a Gambian-born nurse based in the UK, shared words of wisdom and while giving a motivational speech at the award ceremony urged young people to strive hard in order live a dignified life.]]>