Gambia: REFELA President Launches Youth Volunteerism Project

4 September 2023

The president of REFELA The Gambia, Rohey Malick Lowe, on Thursday launched the youth volunteerism project under the partnerships of the United Nations South South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Arab Bank for Africa (BADEA) and the UNDP Gambia.

The launching was held in Banjul at the Never Again Arch.

The project seeks to improve the vocational skills of youths, enhance youth volunteerism and facilitate their knowledge in the form of skills acquisition outside The Gambia.

About 500 youths shall have the opportunity to tour Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, and Africa annually for five years to learn and improve vocational skills that will create employment opportunities for them.

Speaking at the launching, the president of RAFELA who doubles as Mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC), Rohey Malick Lowe, said that she unveiled a project that would not only transform the youths of Banjul but also extend its positive impact to the entire Gambia.

"This project is not just an idea but a solution for empowering our young generation and curbing the challenge of illegal migration," she revealed.

Mayor Lowe, however, stated that the youth volunteerism project is all about skills that have been carefully and professionally designed to empower the youths of Banjul.

"The project is for the youths who we will be proud to entrust our legacy with when our time of retirement comes," she said.

Rohey further expressed her appreciation to United Nations South South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Arab Bank for Africa (BADEA) and the UNDP Gambia for their support towards the successful launch of the project.

Representative of the UNDP, Country Resident Coordinator Oumie Joof, stated that the project is aimed at encouraging the youth to work for themselves, through empowerment to obtain skills that could drive positive change for them and their families.

She urged the youths of Banjul to make good use of the opportunity to explore the world and obtain skills that will benefit them.

Abdoulie Krubally, a youth councillor of the BCC, indicated that youth volunteerism refers to the active participation of young people in community service and charitable activities without any financial gain or compensation.

"It involves individuals, typically between the ages of 15 to 24, as per the UN definition and 15 to 35 as per the Gambian Youth Act, dedicating their time, skills, and energy to support various causes and organisations that aim to make positive changes in society."

He stressed that youth volunteerism can encompass a wide range of activities, including environmental conservation, education, healthcare, social services, disaster relief, advocacy, and many more.

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