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Madarassas sensitised on irregular migration

Madarassas sensitised on irregular migration

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By Olimatou Coker

Instituto Marques de Valle Flor (IMVF), a Portugal-based international organisation in collaboration with the National Youth Council (NYC) through the Tekki-Fi project, recently completed an awareness programme for 13 madarassas [arabic schools] in the Central River Region on the risks associated with irregular migration.

The community outreach, which began in Jangjangbureh, brought together representatives from 13 beneficiary schools.

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The initiative was supported by Tekki-Fi partners such as the International Trade Centre, Youth Empowerment Project, Enable, GIZ and IMVF.

The Arabic schools are the latest beneficiaries after IMVF provided similar programmes for 25 conventional schools in the Lower River, Upper River and North Bank regions.

Joana Martins, national coordinator of IMVF, emphasised the need to have a developmental project that is all-inclusive, including the Quranic schools in the awareness campaign.

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Mustapha Sonko of the, Migration Information Centre under the National Youth Council, spoke on the significance of targeting Islamic schools for such programmes, saying they were neglected.

“All efforts are geared towards the English schools. Looking at the Arabic school curriculum we understand that when it comes to opportunities that are available for the youths, they have a slim chance.

“Their curriculum is not tailored well to make sure that when they finish they get to the civil service jobs. This has left many of the students who graduated from Arabic schools to use the back-way,” he pointed out.

Among the speakers included Muhammed Keita, who benefitted from a D250,000 grant from IMVF on agro business. 

During the 10 days sensitisation, discussions were held with the youths about the opportunities in the country and the risks involved in embarking on irregular migration.

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