Youths Against Irregular Migration (YAIM) in partnership with Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) has recently conducted public event sensitization caravan on effects of irregular migration in the North Bank Region (NBR) and Central River Region North (CRR).
The team engaged students of Badibu Njaba Kunda Upper and Senior Secondary School in NBR and Panchang Basic Cycle in CRR/North in a school gathering were returnees shared their experiences and opportunities available for young people in the Gambia.
Oumie Camara a resident of Bakoteh also a female returnee shared her story with students. She said she embarked on the journey in search of greener pasture but didn’t know that she was going to risk her own life just to have a better living in Europe.
She narrate that the challenges and hardships she went through during her journey cannot be over emphasized, according her as a female migrant she face lots of abuses and sexual violence on the back way journey.
Explaining her journey to students Oumie said she was captured and imprisoned like a slave in Libya for 4 months without her family hearing from her until she develop a sickness in the cell while she describe the cells like hell.
According her she join the caravan team to raising awareness on the effects of irregular migration and to discourage young stars from embarking on the journey noting that it doesn’t worth it to risk your life in search of greener pasture.
However she advice students to take their education with utmost seriousness with strong emphasis on skill learning.
The day also avail students the opportunity to ask questions related to the experience shared by returnees on some of the dangers they encounter on the perilous journey.
The regional youth chairperson of National Youth Council Mr. Shriffo Mboge who double as the chair of the ceremony disclosed that irregular migration have affected every family and community of Gambia noting central Badibu is vulnerable on irregular migration.
Meanwhile he make mention of some opportunities available in his region for NBR youths.
The representative of Njaba Kunda Upper and Senior School thank YAIM and COOPI for choosing his school for returnees to share their testimonies with student while encouraging student to disseminate the information.
COOPI is an international NGO operating in 28 countries and focusing on irregular migration in the Gambia in NBR and CRR/North.
COOPI have a protection team that work on mental health and cyco social support and part of the cyco social support is awareness raising on the effects of irregular migration.
Fatou Suwareh a student at Panchang senior school urged her fellow students to stay away from back way while encouraging them to utilize the opportunities available for them in the country.