By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia, and Citizens United in Switzerland, have signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver programmes with the goal of reducing the incidence of irregular migration in The Gambia. It is understood that the MoU will provide awareness raising and entrepreneurial training programmes for returnees and their families.
The signing ceremony was held at GYIN Gambia’s secretariat in Churchill’s Town, on Wednesday and was preceded by a tour of some intervention areas of GYIN Gambia in rural areas.
Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Executive Director of GYIN-Gambia and Ms. Ida Panneh, representative of Citizens United in The Gambia, participated in the signing ceremony. “We hope this collaboration will be a success story, and I assure Citizens United that the collaboration is the right thing for us to do”, said Director Njie.
He said they were happy to enter into an agreement with CitizensUnited as their newest partner simply because they shared similar a mission on poverty eradication.
“We are confident that the two year programme on irregular migration, entrepreneurship and information and communication technology training, will be beneficial to the returnees, based on our past experiences working with rural youth”, stated Mr. Njie.
GYIN-Gambia according to Njie, has supported the formation of Youth Against Irregular Migration (YAIM) and The Gambian Returnees from the Backway (GRB), with poultry farming.
The representative of the CitizensUnited (CU) in The Gambia Ms Ida Panneh, said CitizensUnited operates to bridge the gap between migrants and citizens, between the rich and the poor, between self-interest and social responsibility, between literacy and illiteracy and between the skilled and the unskilled.
“Our work is geared towards diminishing illegal/irregular migration from developing countries (Africa), advocate for a solution to human rights abuses in transit destinations while simultaneously tackling the challenges of integration in Switzerland,” she stated.
She added that the signing of the MoU between her NGO and GYIN Gambia, is a clear testimony that both parties have taken irregular migration as a concern.
She commended GYIN Gambia for championing the fight against irregular migration by forming returnees into associations and also working with the returnees on programmes that would improve their livelihoods and enhance their personal development.
“One good example of us (CitizensUnited) having confident to work with GYIN Gambia, is that they’re supporting Gambian returnees from Libya and Niger and for us, our programmes focuses on migration”, said Ms. Panneh.
According to Ms. Panneh, the two year agreement will be centered on migration programmes, entrepreneurship training as well as other developmental programmes which will all work towards addressing irregular migration in the country.