By Kebba Jeffang National Youth Council (NYC), the country’s youth body will begin theNYC Starts Nationwide Consultation regional ‘focus group interview’ of youths today and the ‘key person’s interview’ of stakeholders in order to obtain recommendations ahead ofthe validation of the national youth policy due to be held in September. This information was shared during a media sensitization on the mid term review of the national youth policy 2009 to 18 at a meeting held at Independence Stadium in Bakau. Speaking to journalists, Mr. Alagie Jarju, the Programme Officer for the NYC, said the purpose of the sensitization is to inform the media about what they are doing on the issue of mid term review of the policy as a council. He said the review should have been done since last year but it could not be carried out due to technical issues. He disclosed that they have received funding from the government of the Gambia, UNESCO and UNFPA to review the policy. He said they have hired one Kebba Burama Sanyang as consultant for this task. He said as a council, they have established two working groups to involve all stakeholders, and they are youth working group which shall comprise the registered youth groups with the council and the technical working group that will involve all the ministries departments that are stakeholders to be part of it. “We don’t want to have youth policy housed in the National Youth Council and becomes the property of the council but instead the property of all the stakeholders that work towards the development of youth in the Gambia. At the end of the policy review, whatever action plan comes out all the ministries can take it as all the activities are geared towards the development of the young people of the country,” said Jarju. Mr. Jarju further stated that the role of the youth working group is to work with the registered youth groups especially those running radio programmes to use their created platform to sensitise the public about the importance of the youth policy that is about to be reviewed. He said the consultation is basically to align the recommendations from the youth with the national youth policy in order to have an updated youth policy. He said the review process will also torch on issues that are achieved and those that are not for the past five years. He said the consultant has to be provided with the regional youth instruments such as African Charter, ECOWAS youth policy etc during the mid term review in order to come out with an updated policy. He calls for the media participation on the strategies in place in carrying out the consultation process particularly on the ‘key person’s interview which started on June 29th to July 7th 2015 as well as ‘Focus group interview starting today Thursday in the North Bank Region (NBR) targeting nationwide. “In the key person’s interview, the ministries, departments, institutions, regional governors, ward councilors, UN agencies etc are all being identified to be interviewed during the consultation exercise. 130 people will be interviewed covering both policy makers and implementers during the process,” he said. On the focus group interview, he said all the regions will be dealt with and will cover 140 participants in total to get their inputs on the review which will be starting today. Finally, Mr. Jarjue also added the questionnaires will also be posted on the NYC website as a Google document that will enable other youth folks to put in their inputs for wider collection.]]>

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