By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

Youth Against Irregular Migration (YAIM), yesterday Monday 15th January 2018, began a nationwide caravan tour to increase awareness on irregular migration and help reduce it’s negative impact in the country. YAIM is formed by the second batch of Gambian returnees from Libya, who arrived on the 4th April 2017, in the country. 30 youth including the young returnees, journalists, youth organizations and students, will form the caravan. Radio talk shows will be held at the Kerewan and Farafenni Community Radio Stations respectively, in order to reach the wider audience.  Officials of the Ministry of Interior through the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), National Youth Council (NYC), Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia Chapter), will be part of the speakers.

Speaking to reporters during the weekend, Mr. Mustapha Sallah, Secretary General of YAIM, said the caravan is to raise awareness on the dangers of irregular migration and to share opportunities available in the country with the youth especially, those in the rural communities. According to Mr. Sallah, the caravan is supported by the German Government through their office in Banjul; that the caravan will start in the North Bank Region from the 15th to 19th January and the second one will be in the Central River Region North from the 24th to 28th February, 2018 and then other regions will follow.

As part of the caravan, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) Gambia Mini-Grant will be discussed and a platform will be created to sensitize the regions on YEP activities as well as the Mini-Grant; that youth will be linked to some of the opportunities that GYIN Gambia, NYC among a host of organizations, are providing to young people across the country; Sallah added that he recognized the efforts of GYIN Gambia, saying “since we arrived, GYIN Gambia leadership has been coaching and mentoring us to be well organized’’; that GYIN Gambia has changed their lives through their coaching and mentoring, to make sure that they’re not frustrated in their own country, by linking them to relevant authorities for partnership.

On his part, Mr. Karamo Keita, the Chairperson of YAIM, stated that during the caravan, there’ll be night programmes where they will screen documentaries to create more awareness; that YAIM has invited some successful young entrepreneurs to share their success stories with the communities which he said, will help inspire students and youth to venture into businesses by creating jobs for themselves.

“I also want to thank the German Government for supporting the caravan and GYIN Gambia for the coaching and mentoring lessons since we arrived in the country, as well as our members and partners”.

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