AAITG Holds Third Graduation Ceremony for Forty Students
AAITG holds third graduation ceremony for forty students who have completed three months intensive training on horticulture, poultry and small ruminant production at ActionAid’s CRSA Farm in Dalaba.
The training is a major component of the project: ‘Protective Services and Economic Alternatives to Potential Migrants and Youth’ funded by the Corti Foundation in Italy, in partnership with ActionAid Italy. The project is aimed at halting both rural-urban and irregular migration in the three Niaminas, as well as improve access to alternative incomes for young people.
In his opening remarks, Demba Sallah, President of the Yiriwa Apex in Nimina East, challenged the graduates to utilize the knowledge and skills they have acquired from the training. He said that the Apex will conduct monitoring to ensure that the knowledge and the support are utilized properly.
Speaking at the occasion, the Board chair for ActionAid International The Gambia, Haddy Dandeh Jabbie gave a brief background on the project and stated that since the inception of the project, eighty youth have been trained. She said that many are called but a few have been chosen to benefit from training. Madam Jabbie stated that each of the graduates will be given a startup capital of D50,000 to start their own businesses. She urged them to make the best use of the opportunity to better their lives.
Mrs. Jabbie also appealed to parents to desist from selling their jewelries and other belongs to send their children abroad through irregular migration. She added that irregular migration is not the option because many lives have perished in this heinous journey.
The EU Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation, Mrs. Enric Pellacani, expressed her satisfaction about the Dalaba CRSA demonstration farm which was established under the EU-funded project: ‘Agroecology and Eco-restoration’ implemented by ActionAid and in partnership with Njawara Agricultural Training Centre. She said even after the project phases out, there is still sustainability at the centre, serving as a training hub for young people.
Madam Pellacani also emphasized the importance of agroecology which she described as keeping balance between people and nature. She said someone may need the services of a lawyer or a doctor probably once in their lifetime but will always need the services of a farmer (food) every day of their life.
Pabio Be Cargo, the Official Funding Officer for ActionAid ITALY said that he joined ActionAid about three years ago and the Protective Services was his first project.
“It was through the project that I met the Corti Foundation, and they were willing to fund the project. That is why the project is so special to me, and I hope that it will bring improvements in the lives of young people” he said.
Mr. Sainey Mbye, Deputy Governor of CRR commended ActionAid’s work in Niamina. He said that ActionAid’s has changed the lives of hundreds of families in Niamina. He also stated that irregular migration has been a major phenomenon in The Gambia, but the implementation of such projects will help reduce the menace of ‘backway’ (irregular migration). Deputy Governor Mbye urged graduates to make the best use of this opportunity.
“Many youths have been trained on various skills but in most cases getting a startup capital is a problem. But this project has given you money to start your own business. Therefore, you should use the money for the purpose in which it is given,” said DG Mbye.
Fatoumatta L. Jallow, a graduate from the CRSA farm recited a poem titled: ‘I can” in which some of the lines read: “I can be what I want to be, I can do what I want to do. I can cross every river and I can get to the mountain top. If you can, I can’.
All forty graduates were presented with certificates and cheques of fifty thousand dalasi to start their own businesses.
Kebba Jallow, a student delivered the vote of thanks.
The crowd was entertained by traditional drummers.