The Banjul Red Cross branch recently held its 14th annual youth gathering at the Gambia Senior Secondary School hall in Banjul, on the theme, 'Youth on the move'.
The event was meant to discuss issues concerning young people and to find a common solution to that concern, as wellas discuss their roles and responsibilities as young people, for the attainment of Vision 2020 and other national development priorites. It was also a platform where youth volunteers were allowed to showcase their leadership skills and talents.
Arona Jobe, the area youth representative of BRC, said the youth gathering is a forum where young people gather to promote the ideals and principles of the Red Cross Movement, the International Humanitarian Laws and to discuss issues that affect their daily lives. Besides, he went on, the forum gathers volunteers, parents, donors and strategic partners from all walks of life to dwell on relevant issues of youth development, social life, networking, education, and nation building, among others.
"Banjul Red Cross branch has for the past 13 years pioneered the event where nearly 1000 people are brought together for a period of 24 hours to find solutions to their problems for the attainment of the MDGs and the Vision 2020," Jobe said. He added that the vision of the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) is alleviating human suffering through the power of humanity. "Youth gathering is also an avenue that avails us the opportunity to evaluate ourselves, with the aim of transforming our weaknesses into strength and converting our threats into opportunities," Jobe further remarked.
Further dilating on the importance of the youth gathering, the BRC rep said it will also serve as a forum where volunteers, youth groups and sister branches will exchange ideas and good practices so as to pave the way for harmonising efforts towards mitigating illegal migration, and use of illegal drugs, among others.
In his keynote address, Bai Cham, the secretary general of GRCS, said: "Our top priority is placed on promoting youth volunteering as a way for young people to become aware of the relevance of their civic engagement, that youths are active in all our national societal services."
Speaking on behalf of the minister of Youth and Sports, Sutay Jawo urged the youths to contribute in eradicating violence in their communities. Omar TD Ndow thanked the participants for gracing the event.