By Olimatou Coker
The Youth Empowerment Project (Yep) in partnership with UN agencies in the country recently observed UN Day.
A two-day tour of North Bank and Lower River regions, respectively, was organised as part of activities marking the day.
Also, a series of activities including site visits of feeder roads under rehabilitation, fruit tree planting at Gambia Songhai Initiative centre, blood donations, HIV counselling and testing, and the distribution of dignity kits to create access to menstrual hygiene information and products for adolescents as a pathway to achieving sexual and reproductive health in Soma Upper and Senior Secondary school.
The tour seeks to decentralise the UN’s work and engage communities benefitting from its projects across the country, under the theme achieving sustainable peace through dialogue.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of events marking the Day, Saraphine Wakana, UN resident coordinator, said the Gambia is still in transition and the UN had has a lot to do to get to where we are today.
“We think that we need to remain committed, that’s why we said throughout next year it is going to be a busy year because we will be preparing for 2021,” she said.
She said they are working on bringing Gambians together and initiate dialogue among them as to what path the country should take.
Speaking on the Day, she said: “Celebrating the UN Day is important to everybody. As members of the UN we should be happy to see that everybody is celebrating with us. It is important at least one day in a year to reflect on what we do. For us, it is also important to come closer to people that we serve, that’s why we decided to come to these two regions in commemorating such a great day.”
Aissata De, UNDP country representative, said the Day is not only for UN workers but for all UN member states.
Kebba Darboe, deputy governor, LRR, called the Day a “symbol of cultural diversity”.
“I am reliably informed about the activities to be observed in the region. The involvement of the grass-root is appreciated.”
He said the cordial relationship between the UN family and the government of the Gambia will continue to grow from strength to strength. “As we celebrate this important day, I wish to encourage all partners to take advantage of the enabling environment created in the ‘new Gambia’ to promote peace,” he posited.
Alhagie Jarjusey, chief of Jarra West, thanked the entire UN for efforts to maintaining world peace.
He lauded the achievements and efforts of the UN systems in The Gambia.
Other speakers were Saikou Kawsu Gassama, PS, Office of the President, Ebrima Dampha – governor of NBR, Alh Fabala Fadia Kinteh – chief of lower Baddidu, Ebrima Jammeh – chief of Baddidu Illiassa, Haruna Kuyateh – Wanep focal person for NBR and Lamin Keita – head boy of Mbamoi Kunda Lower Basic School in NBR.