Addressing 50 youths at a two-week camp organised by a community-based organisation Beakanyang Kafo at Nasir Senior Secondary School on the theme ‘Zero Tolerance for Illegal Migration: Let’s Stay and Develop Our Country’ he said: “This is a good initiative Beakanyang has embarked upon. I urge you to take full advantage of the opportunity provided to you by the youth group. You were selected by your organisations and groups to represent them at the camp with the hope that you will learn more about issues to be discussed. You should make the best use of the opportunities being provided by the government and to desist from illegal migration .For Beakanyang, we are fully aware of your activities in the region and will encourage you to keep the good work and be assured of our support”.
The executive director of Beakanyang, Nfamara Jawneh said: “The camp provides a platform for learning and sharing of information on critical matters vital for youth development .The objective is to provide an ideal platform for youth networking and understanding and to create awareness on climate change effects among the young .It also seeks to establish a network of youth who are empowered and motivated to use their dynamism to fight against, illegal migration, corruption, child marriage, and to promote human rights .The camp also aimed to provide youth with tools to enable them become agents of change in their communities .The theme of the camp which is ‘Zero Tolerance for Illegal Migration: Let’s Stay and Develop our Country’ is apt and timely and carefully chosen to suit the current day realities affecting our youth.
“The Gambia and URR in particular has had a bitter experience regarding illegal migration of youth. Each year, we lose many abled youth while they try to enter Europe through back way. We don’t even see their bodies. The boats they use are not seaworthy and as a result the majority of them die along the journey. We are not saying that the youth should not travel but if they wish to do so, it has to be done through the right channels. In fact, going to Europe is not worth killing oneself. The Gambia’s future is being threatened by the illegal migration phenomenon with many of our youth perishing in high seas several kilometers away from the Smiling Coast”.
Sharing his experience of illegal migration with other campers, a participant Mori Conteh said: “In 2001, I embarked on a terrible journey from The Gambia via Mali but was I forced to return to the country due to the hardship I faced on the way. I saw a mass grave of illegal migrants who died as a result of hunger. I urge other young people in the country to desist from the practice.”
Deputising the Region 6 education director, Momodou Camara said Beakanyang is complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
According to him, educating youths about their rights and the dangers of illegal migration is vital for them, noting that the education sector is hard hit by illegal migration with many of their teachers and students leaving for the dangerous journey.
The chief of Basse, Hammeh Minteh Krubally, urged youths in the country to acquire employable skills to help their quest for jobs. Other speakers included the organisation’s board chairman, Yahya Sumareh, the programme officer of Beakanyang who also doubles as the chairperson of the organising committee, Tumani Danjo, and the vice principal of Nasir Senior Secondary School, Mr Dakwa. The ceremony which was attended by the CEO of Basse Area Council and regional security heads was chaired by the spokesperson for the organisation Alhagie FS Sora.]]>