By Saikou Suwareh Jabai And Yankuba Jallow
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), handed over 25 brand new sewing machines to the President's International Award (PIA), on Monday June 11th 2018, in Bakau.
The sewing machines, worth D1,222,000 or 26,000 US Dollars, were procured by the International Trade Centre under The Gambia Youth Empowerment framework, funded by the European Union.
The handing over ceremony marked the beginning of a training of 10 trainers for the implementation of the newly validated Textile and Garment training curriculum.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Executive Director of the PIA Sainey Drammeh, commended YEP for the donation and noted that the items will go far enough in complementing the 2019 vision of creating 400 jobs for young people in the country.
While assuring that the machines will be fully utilized, Drammeh called on young people to take charge of the country's development process.
YEP Project Manager Raimund Moser, said the project seeks to empower young people by developing their skills in readiness for the job market and giving them access to finance.
He said the machines will help improve their training and enhance their employability; that there will be additional machines to further improve the garment industry of the country. Moser enjoined the trainees to be committed to the training and help share the knowledge and skills gained, so as to popularize the new curriculum.
Lamin Darboe, Executive Director of National Youth Council (NYC), thanked PIA for their foresight in implementing the initiative; that the institution has a good track-record and is committed to improving the lives of young people. Darboe commended YEP for the donation, saying it would have been difficult to acquire these machines without their intervention.
While urging the trainees to make best of use of the program, Darboe added that the initiative will boost the garment and textile industry in the country.
Sambujang of the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA), spoke about the importance of technical and vocational education and training, saying it enormously helps to create gainful employment.
Mamadi Dampha of the Trade Ministry and Fanding Kinteh of the Ministry of Youth, commended the gesture and expressed hope that it will add value to the efforts in place by creating jobs for young people.