By Aisha Tamba
The ‘Tekki Fii’ project has launched a skills training program for 550 youths of Soma in the Lower River Region, barely a week after the launch of a similar program for young people in URR.
It was launched by GIZ International Service, a German agency for development cooperation.
The programme hopes to make young Gambians see the benefits of choosing to make it here – or ‘Tekki fii’ in wolof by tapping into economic opportunities in the country rather than embarking on perilous Sea journey to reach Europe in search of “so called greener pastures”.
GIZ International Service is one of the implementing partners of the ‘Tekki fii’ project, which is being sponsored by the EUs Trust Fund for Africa.
Like the URR program, the LRR program will be training young people for a period of 12 months in courses such as garment-making, welding, solar PV installation, beauty and cosmetology, tilling, block laying etcetera.
The deputy governor of LRR, Kebba Darbo, praised GIZ and its implementing partners for the initiative, saying the program will go a long way to developing the skills and capacity of the youths of LRR.
He implored the youths to make best use of the opportunities being given to them.
“Your determination, combined with the skills that you are set to acquire on these various training programmes, will guarantee a better life for you all.
We want to wish you the best of luck in your endeavors! Things will not be easy, but with these skills and business knowledge to be acquired, you will hopefully find opportunities to develop yourselves and make it here in The Gambia,” he told the trainees.
Saikou Darboe, youth chairperson of LRR, expressed delight over the project. He recalled that there was a caravan that went round villages in the region encouraging young people to stay in the country and tap into economic opportunities, even though they were scared at the time.
Now that a life-changing such as Tekki Fii has arrived, the youth chairperson said the future is bright for young people of the region.
“Considering Gambia’s population, the number of young people leaving the country was just alarming,” he said.
“…Today I am the proudest youth chairperson because this [project] was what I have been advocating for. I want to tell our young people of this region that our problems have come to an end with this project,” he disclosed.
Fabio Germano, project manager of GIZ, said the program looks to avail young people the opportunity to find meaningful employment through skills acquisition initiatives in the country.
“We want to make sure the young people in this region receive the opportunity to undertake comprehensive training courses.
We want to give them quality courses and at the same time develop entrepreneurs among the youths.