The Gambia Gold Award Holder's Association (GAHA), during the weekend held a press briefing with journalist to enlighten them and the public on the upcoming association's Annual Gold Encounter event, which is slated to take place on the 25 August, 2012at Jarra Soma.
The event will bring together people from KM, LRR and NBR and the association will be embarking on a seven-day training and sensitisation camp, involving 100 young Gambians across the country. The theme for this year's event is 'A nation without illicit drug trafficking is a legacy for the new generation'.
This was revealed at a press briefing which was organised by GAHA at the President's International Award (PIA) hall in Bakau. GAHA is a youth group under the auspices of the PIA and it is legally registered by the National Youth Council.
Speaking at the occasion, Abdoulie Ceesay, the public relations officer (PRO) of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) expressed his delight with the good initiative the association took in mobilising youths who are the most vulnerable in terms of drug usage in The Gambia.
He said: "The rate of drug abuse and trafficking which is now a global problem is high and everyone should take it as a priority and put hands together in assisting the government to solve it because it is a life time tragedy."
PRO Ceesay disclosed that the intervention of the NDEA in 2005 was purposely to tackle the situation of drug abuse and drug trafficking in The Gambia, which was initiated by the government. He reminded the young people of the intensive punishments attached to drug usage. He further urged other youth organisations to emulate GAHA as they are contributing their quota in national development.
"Any organisation that promised to put funds for GAHA should come forward and help for a successful training as their objectives are to sensitise and create public awareness on drugs usage," he urged. He noted that NDEA's doors are open for the association whenever they need their help.
For his part, Babucarr Kebbeh, the programme officer of GAHA stated that statistics have shown that 61% of The Gambia's population are youth and they lives in the face of HIVIAIDS, extreme poverty, self- unemployment and drug abuse. Regarding this, he said, the association is challenged to use the Award Programme as a guide to transform the lives of these vulnerable youths into productive lives in the face of scarce resources without which operation would be difficult. Kebbeh also warned that drug addiction can spell misery for users and close friends or families and even spread deadly diseases like HIV/ AIDS.
Fatoumata Ceesay, GAHA PRO spoke about her association's mission and vision statements regarding to the development of The Gambia. She reviewed their last gold encounters activities which included tree planting and malaria sensitisation.