By Aisha Tamba
The Tekki-Fii implementing partners recently convened with Tekki-Fii beneficiaries in NBR, CRR, URR, and LRR to hear their testimonies.
The meeting is aimed at discussing with the Tekki-Fii beneficiaries how the three-year programme which was launched in 2019 impacted their lives and what are their recommendations for the sustainability of the programme.
As the programme is phasing out in December, Tekki-Fii was launched in 2019 by The Gambia Government sponsored by the EU and implemented by ITC, IMVF, and ENABLE to educate and skill young people in this country so that they can be creative and create employment for other youths.
The beneficiaries benefited from stills, poultry farming, community gardens supported, and Entrepreneurship One-Stop Shop (including new lumo).
Speaking at the event, Mr. Muhammed Swareh expressed gratitude to the programme with all the Tekki-Fii partners for their support to their young people in NBR in terms of structural support and individual support.
“Tekki-Fii and its partners have been supporting the community for the last three years. Now that the programme is phasing out, we are really concern as a region and undoubtedly we will not do justice if we don’t acknowledge your support. Although we do not meet our target because looking at the number of people in this region compared to the number of people supported there is a big gap in it. But we did not expect the project to do all, to cover all of us but we are only hopeful that the government will continue from where the Tekki-Fii programme stops,” he said.
Alfu M. Sarr, a beneficiary said the Tekki-Fii programme in Kerewan NBR gave the GYCC much more recognition and helped build the capacity of staff in the project management and implementation.
Muhammed Ceesay from Basse, also a beneficiary, said the Tekki-Fii is one of the best youth programmes in The Gambia.
He also added the programme encouraged and challenged youths to learn skills to do business and make it in the Gambia.
Muhammed Ceesay received a mini-grant from the Tekki-Fii programme in 2019 which he used to establish prospectively, and digital businesses that digital accessory needs to customers.
And today he already employs five people and accommodates interns from different schools.
Mariama from URR: “I would like to thank Tekki-Fii. As an entrepreneur, I was lucky to have the mini-grant. Through that, I was able to open a restaurant and employ six people.”
She explained her struggles in her business before Tekki-Fii came to her rescue. “I was struggling too much with my business but now it has grown bigger.”
Aliue Kebbeh explained how he started his poultry farming with 50 bird chicks in his backyard but after benefiting from the mini-grant expanded his poultry farm to 200 birds.
“I underwent some of their entrepreneurship trainings which expanded my understanding of business. I used that knowledge and started networking and building partnerships. Now I have up to 5,000 birds from North bank to URR. Transportation was my problem but now I have a vehicle to supply birds. Before the Tekki-Fii, I was using a bicycle and motorcycle, now I have a vehicle to supply even in the Kombos. I have four employees and I wish there could be more support for other potential entrepreneurs to benefit from it,” he highlighted.