By Aja Dahaba, edited by Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Youths Against Irregular Migration (YAIM) started the fourth stage of its sensitization caravan aimed at creating awareness on irregular migration and helping to reduce the number of young Gambians going through the ‘backway’. YAIM was formed in 2017 by the returnees from Libya, Tripoli determined to organise into an advocacy group who share their dangerous experiences through the backway. They are determined for their voices to be heard as a collective.
The team recently engaged Pakaliba upper and lower basic School and Japineh in upper and lower basic school were returnees shared their experiences and opportunities available for young people in the new Gambia with the students. This also gave students the opportunity to asked questions related to the experience shared by the returnees on some of the dangers they encounter in the perilous journey.
Speaking at the gathering was the president of the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC), Ismaila Sambou told the gathering that he was not against irregular migration because there are factors leading to it and what should be done is to empower returnees upon their arrival. His desire to advocate for more opportunities for returnees is what motived him to join the caravan team to sensitized the whole country.
He argued that the money spent on the perilous journey can create a startup business for someone. “I am a graduate but when I realized that I cannot find a job for myself when I decided to join Youth work to build my capacity and today I am leading an organization and working as a commercial farmer” he disclosed.
In this vein, he challenged the youth folk to engage in agricultural business in particular to reduce the dependency ratio. Sainey Darboe a student at Pakaliba upper and lower basic School urged his fellow students to stay away from back way while encouraging them to utilized the opportunities available for them in the country.