By Louise Jobe
The Gold Awards Holders Association of the Gambia, GAHA, conducted an annual Islamic conference and fast breaking event on Friday, 16th June 2017, at their Head Office at the President International Award Secretariat, in Bakau.
The association is a group of young people who came together to complement the efforts of the President’s International Award of the Gambia, by bringing all Gold Award Holders together to build and capacities young people, for a better future and self-actualization through the president’s international award programme.
Mr. Momodou L. Gassama, the executive secretary of GAHA, who also doubles as the master of ceremony for the occasion in his speech, said: ‘‘The theme: Islamic perspective on Democracy for peace and reconciliation with Islamic preaching’s, re-affirms the association commitment in complementing the efforts of the President’s International Award, to build and capacities young people for a better future. The association’s key intervention areas are advocacy on the award programmes, promotion and protection of the environment, Entrepreneurship and skills development and capacity building.’’
Mr. Babucarr Kebbeh, the chairperson of the association also echoed similar remarks and further encouraged the youths to be religious and law abiding and of course perform their daily prayers and desist from illicit drugs of all types. He also urged youths to be responsible and to be well educated and be aware of their abilities and talent enable them become good citizens. He concluded by saying that the mission of the association is to advocate for an enabling environment where young people will be guided through mentoring to acquire knowledge and skills for national development.
Mr. Ousman Saidibah, the PRO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency also spoke at length about the harmful effects they cause, both mentally, physically, physiologically. He revealed that between the years 2012 to 2016, over 1000 people who were raided with drugs, were teens; that globally, an estimated 210 million people use illicit drugs annually, with almost 250,000 of them dying. ‘‘People must have value for life and keep away from drugs,“ he urged the gathering.
Mr. Lamin Darboe, the executive director of the National Youth Council, thanked the Association and their staff, partners and other stakeholders, for making the day a success. He also thanked the youths to be religious at all times.