In any establishment, the development of the youth is a sine qua non. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that its youth possess skills to contribute their quota in national development and discourage them from the negative norms of society.
Cognizant of this fact, The Gambia government has made the development of its youths indispensable by establishing national institutions meant to train them and by extension protect their interests. These indispensable national institutions include but not limited to the National Youth Council (NYC), the National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), the President’s International Award (PIA), the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) and the highly acclaimed Gambia Songhai Centre in Chamen.
The government has also given financial assistance to Gambian youths to venture into various forms of business and this include fishing, farming, tailoring amongst a host of other self-employment jobs. As a result, today Gambian youths are not only job seekers but equally creating job opportunities for others.
It therefore saddens us that despite this unqualified commitment by the government, some of our youths are sacrificing their lives through the Mediterranean sea in hope of a life that does not exist in the West.
In our today’s publication, three Gambians that have successfully made the dangerous journey recounted their hellish experience to one of our reporters. It is no surprise that all three have now regretted the decision to have ever embarked on the journey by sacrificing their respectable lifestyle, where they earned decent income, for unfulfilled dreams in Italy and Germany.
In the past we have also reported extensively on others that have decided to abandon the journey and return home, who are now working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to help them reintegrate into society. Today a lot of them have started new lives as entrepreneurs and are contributing positively to the socioeconomic development of the country.
We, therefore, hope that our young people who could be thinking of embarking on the journey would heed the advice of their compatriots by working hard to make a decent life at home.