Picture: A cross section of participants, with Sosseh in front (blue)   

By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

An international youth-focused media initiative, ‘Voice of the Youth’ (VOTY), was on Wednesday 18th April 2018, launched at a colorful ceremony in QCity.

The Gambia version of VOTY is jointly implemented by Social Change Factory (SCF) and Gambia Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL) and it facilitates the transformation of adolescents and youth into socially-conscious, solution-oriented change-makers and amplify their ideas and actions through their active participation in media platforms.

Participants who are drawn from tertiary institutions in the country to take part in the programme, will take action by implementing solutions against designated problems, and judgment will be made according to the level of efficiency and impact, of each of the submitted solutions.

While delivering the launching statement, Fatoumata Njai, the National Assembly Member for Banjul South, commended the student-participants for having the zeal to be change-makers and develop their respective communities, while congratulating the organizers of the event, for the program’s ‘timely and necessary’ launching. Njie highlighted the numerous challenges young people in Africa face and called on Governments to do more in implementing the right policies that will ensure they realize their potentials.

‘Youth are assets and not liabilities! They need answers and results and not promises,’ she asserted. She implored participants to make best use of the opportunity.
Mr. Lamin Ceesay from Ministry of Higher Education, also described the initiative as timely, saying youth are an important resource of human power, for any nation.
‘‘The SCF is setting the stage for the New Gambia in the coming six months and we will be monitoring the process. We expect you to come up with high expectations,’’ Ceesay said.
Madam Adelaide Sosseh, the Executive Director of GAIL, thanked the French Embassy for funding the VOTY. She said the initiative is of pivotal significance and expressed the hope that it will bear fruit at the completion of the program and commended the SCF for the collaboration.

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