By Bekai Njie
The President Barrow Youth for National Development (PBYND) has kick-started to implement 120 projects within six months in different communities across the country.
The secretary general of the organisation, Kebba Lang Fofana has disclosed, during a handing over ceremony of its completed perimeter fencing project of New Yundum women horticultural garden on Sunday.
According to him, some two months ago the developmental unit at the President Barrow Youth for National Development (PBYND) came to visit the beneficiary community for a need assessment so that they would know the developmental gaps that were existing in this particular community.
“So when we arrived at this village, we realised that they have a very good land for gardening purposes but the area was not protected. So we felt the need to come and support the over 500 women that are benefiting from the garden.”
“I thank God that we were able to secure funds to fence the perimeter of the garden. This was contracted and today the area has been fully fenced, protected and we are doing the handing over of the property back to the community,” said SG Fofana.
According to him, the aims and objectives of the organisation (President Barrow Youths for National Development), is to foster social cohesion, integration and national development. “The main reason we believe like we have to foster integration, you look at The Gambia today; it’s kind of divided and no meaningful development can take place if that cream of society is being eroded away,” he said.
He continued: “So expectations are; to have a united Gambia and that is why the mission statement of this organisation is: A Gambia for all. This is what we are propagating for. This is what we envisage at the end of the day. And as I said, protecting this garden will improve the socio-economic status of these women and again it is going to be a defensive mechanism for them against animal intrusion”.
With regard to the organisation’s source of funding, Mr. Fofana said they are inviting everybody because the organisation is there to move the National Development Plans of The Gambia. His own words: “We are inviting everybody because when we initiated this organisation, we knocked at the doors of all wiling Gambians to come in and support. Presently we have philanthropists both within and outside of this country who are really supporting us,” he enthused.
Ansu Singhateh, the president of the organisation spoke on the importance of the project. He said it is very important because it was like a dream come true for the beneficiaries.
“We decided to give them this project among the so many projects that we are going to give to the communities because they’ve long been yarning for it,” he said, while calling on Gambian women to continue with their hard work. “I know most of them their source of income is agriculture and let them try pushing and I can assure them that President Barrow Youth for National Development will continue to work with Gambian women,” he assured.
The alkalo of New Yundum, Mr. Ousman Bojang hailed President Barrow Youth for National Development for supporting women of his village. He said for forty years they have been yarning for support in this particular garden. The alkalo who was physically seen thrilled by the completion of the project used the occasion also to pray for the wellbeing of it members.
Faye Manneh, New Yundum Village Development Committee focal point person for agriculture suggested a name change for the organisation. According to him, the name should be change to President Barrow Youth for Peace and National Development, considering the important role being play by the organisation.
According to him, the New Yundum project has three fundamental importance; these are to improve the socio-economic status of the beneficiary communities, increase their crop productivity and protection. He observed that all these combined also contribute to the growth of GDP.
Speaking on behalf of the women beneficiaries, Naffie Manneh commended President Barrow Youth for National Development for given them a project they cherish so much. She used the occasion to appeal to the organisation to also provide them with horeholes.
Dodou Sanno, Board member of President Barrow Youth for National Development urged the beneficiary community to utilise the project wisely for its sustainability.
“We are not a political party and our projects are not based on politics but to compliment the development efforts of the government.