A group called the Youth Reform Club was recently launched in Tanji village, Kombo South District of the West Coast Region, under the auspices of the Village theatre group formed few years ago.
The first youth reform club in the coastal fishing village is headed by a Dutch national, Marlies Verdonh, a first class actress, song writer and an artist per excellence, who is also a member of the Go for Africa Human charitable NGO, operating in the country over the past few years.
The launching was characterised by an exhibition of talents and skills by young people of the village, who are poised to make a different approach to their lives, by learning various skills and knowledge. As in line with their slogan,"Increase in knowledge; ability to learn in The Gambia", the aspiring and energetic youths will be exposed to series of realities relating to real life stories acrossThe Gambia and beyond.
According to the objectives of the programme, the village youths will compose songs and stories relating to some of the key issues affecting overall development objectives in Africa including The Gambia, especially illegal immigration, attitudes of some youths towards their own development programmes; either through education or skills acquisition, the need to have youths change their mindset about Europe and focus on the development of their country.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Marlies Vernoh, head of the Youth Reform Club, gave a detailed historical overview of the club right from the start to the launching. According to her, the idea of forming the club was initiated in her home country the Netherlands for implementation in The Gambia, as part of efforts meant to have lasting impressions on the minds of the young people of the country by exposing them to meaningful ventures.
Commenting on the need for young people to have access to the right information at the right stage of their development, so as to prepare them for future challenges, Vernoh said the club will have performance on a story that contains a vital message aimed at educating children, especially school children, through regular performances in schools within Tanji village and its surrounding communities.
She revealed that her female partner would soon come to join her in teaching the youth club, and would embark on a tour of schools and communities across Kombo South and other places, spreading the message. She emphasised that the programme is part of the objectives of the Go for Africa NGO, geared towards achieving sustainable development in Africa and The Gambia in particular.