Representing the Office of the Vice President at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the head office of Lend a Hand Society, LAHS, held on Saturday in Pipeline, Kalleh said: “The government continues to prioritise the development of young people through putting in place coordinating institutions and platforms, progressive policies, legal frameworks, projects and initiatives all geared towards making our youth hard-working, dignified and proud global citizens and these efforts are visible and evident through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the establishment of the National Youth Council in 2000.”
He said the establishment of satellite institutions such as NEDI, PIA, NYSS, and NSC are substantial effort that manifest government’s commitment to young people development and growth in the face of numerous global challenges.
He said: “As we continue to make The Gambia food self-sufficient through the government’s Vision 2016 under the dynamic leadership of President Yahya Jammeh, the role of youth is indispensable and this includes those on the farms, those in the buying and selling of farm produce and those in the processing and manufacturing of the farm produce. The output of this value chain in production will not only make Gambia food secure but will also provide numerous job opportunities for our youth.”
He advised the youth to face these challenges with all their might, talents and innovation to make this world a better and safer place for generations yet unborn. “We must understand that no one will come from outside The Gambia to develop this country for us and therefore the responsibility lies on all to work hard and make this country the silicon valley of Africa,” he said.
Some of the impediments, he identified as undermining youth empowerment include illegal migration, unemployment, disease outbreaks such as Ebola, global warming, climate change, conflict, wars, and terrorism.
The National Programme Coordinator of Lend a Hand Society, Naffie Sissoho, said her organisation is committed to raising awareness of young people and helping them to realise their potential through sponsorship, attitude building , cultural appreciation and service ton nation.
According to her, LAHS instilled in its members a sense of service through its core principle of selfless service to society.
“Laying the foundation stone for the dream centre is worth 3 million dalasis which will serve as a symbol of our commitment to building a youth centre for providing recreational activities, tutoring and skills training and offering organised instructional programmes for young people aimed at building their capacity and giving them the chance to showcase their talents,” she said.
She disclosed that the land was given to them by the government of The Gambia in recognition of the efforts and importance of civil society, especially youth- based organisations in achieving set goals for the socio-economic development of the country.]]>