By Edrissa Jallow and Edward Francis Diallah
Girls for the future foundation on Friday 3rd March 2023 graduated twenty-eight young female entrepreneurs after completing a four months entrepreneur mentorship program. The graduation ceremony which took place at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) campus in Kanifing was graced by the member for Banjul South, Hon Fatoumatta Njai, Mr Musa Sidibeh of MSDG, keynote speaker Ramatoulie Kadam and the Chairperson of YMCA.
The programme funded by Migration for Sustainable Development Goals (MSDG) by GK Partners, offered young ladies including persons living with disability relevant skills leading to a successful business. In addition to the training, the foundation also provided some start-up material to graduates towards starting a successful small business.
Graduates completed courses to begin a business such as food processing, soap making, tie-dye and handmade crafts. Not stopping there, graduates also attended lectures on reproductive health enhancing the awareness of their reproductive life, self-esteem, entrepreneurship, confidence building and financial education to name a few.
Ms Allen Dunn: Dare to Exceed Despite the Challenges
Speaking to delegates in attendance the founder of Girls for the Future Foundation, Ms Priscilla Allen Dunn highlighted that a key mission of her foundation’s mission is to empower young women to become independent and responsible young ladies in society.
“Girls for the future foundation exists for opportunities… as is in line with our mission of mentoring and empowering young women and girls aged 13 to 25 by [the] provision of opportunities and own experiences that could enable them to become independent, responsible and confident,” said Ms Dunn.
The pioneer noted that her foundation “aims to instil values that would build confidence, self-esteem, and help shape their lives and characters”. In addition, the organisation’s “projects are designed to take young women and girls through a journey of self-actualization and self-discovery: Who am I? What are my gifts? What can I do? What can I attain in life?”
Since its formation in October 2013, the foundation has supported and created a number of opportunities for young ladies in The Gambia said Ms Dunn.
“To my girls [graduates], opportunities like these do not cross the paths of every young lady out there, but you have been privileged. Make it worth your while and dare to exceed despite the challenges around you. Dare to be a better and improved version of the young lady you were four months ago when you walked through these doors,” enthused the proud founder rallying her graduates on.
MSDG Representative: Don’t Stop Here, Become an Entrepreneur
Meanwhile, MSDG GK partner, Pa Musa Sidibeh shared some words of encouragement to the graduates and assured the foundation of their continued support in its quest to empower young women.
During his speech, he motivated graduates “not [to] stop there. There is a lot of need out there whether it’s food processing, tie and dye and others…our expectation is you will not stop here you will use these [skills] and become an entrepreneur” to create more job opportunities for themselves and others.
He urged graduates to reach out to donors including his office, MSDG GK partners: “If you need support…kindly reach out, that’s all you need to do. Our expectation is that you will use this training and help yourself, help the country and move one step ahead,” said Mr Sidibeh.