By Mamadou Edrisa Njie
As the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia chapter’s planned 3rd Edition of the Rural Youth Awards 2019 drew closer, the National Organizing Committee (NOC) have received about two hundred and five (205) applicants across the length and breadth of the country competing for the 10 awards categories’.
The much anticipated event is scheduled to be held from 25th to 27th April 2019 at the WASDA centre in Wuli West District, Upper River Region of the Gambia.
In an interview with, Mr. Sarjo Jarju, Chairperson of the 3rd Edition of the Rural Youth Awards 2019, National Organising Committee, confirmed that two hundred and five (205) applications were successfully submitted for this year’s Rural Youth Awards 2019.
He say “on 10th March 2019 was the deadline for the submission of applications in which 10 youth are targeted to be awarded with thirty-five thousand dalasis (D35,000.00) for each award winner,” says the NOC Chairperson, Mr Sarjo Jarju shortly after returning from a massive countrywide collection of filled application forms that were distributed earlier.
The Rural Youth Awards 2019 aims to identify, promote and elevate successful young men and women’s creativities, energies and passion geared to develop their communities and societies.
According to him, on the 12th and 13th March 2019, the National Organizing Committee embarked on a countrywide trekking to collect filled application forms that were distributed to the Building Resilience Against Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS), the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) project sites, regional youth offices and villages.
Out of two hundred and seventy-five (275) application forms distributed to fifty-six (56) villages, Jarju explained that one hundred and thirty-one (131) filled forms where collected by the NOC and the other 74 were applied online.
Twelve forms (12) were collected in North Bank Region, thirty-one forms (31) in Upper River Region, six (6) forms from Central River Region-North, twenty-six (26) forms from Central River Region South, thirty-one (31) forms from the Upper River Region (URR), Thirty-nine (39) in Lower River Region, while seventeen (17) forms in West Coast Region.
This year, he said a total number of two hundred and five (205) youths applied for the award competition.
According to Mr. Jarju, this year’s awards programme is financially and logistically supported the Building Resilience Against Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS), the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Wuli and Sandu Development Agency (WASDA) and the National Youth Council. The Rural Youth Awards is designed to recognize and celebrate the successes of rural youth in entrepreneurship and agribusiness.
He adds: The award also provides financial support to deserving agribusiness players, to not only grow their business, but serve as an encouragement for them and others to stay in Agriculture. Moreover, it is geared to contribute to increasing food security, and at the same time enjoy the benefits of running their own businesses.
The overall aim of the awards, Mr. Jarju added is to identify, promote and elevate successful young women and men, who despite all odds are channeling their creativities, energies and passion to contribute in making a change in their communities and societies.
“Rural youth are generally known to be low income earners, however, recognition of successful youth in agribusiness, entrepreneurship and information technology could serve as a model for the majority of others who are yet to enter into start-up ventures and open up doors for access to finance.”, he concluded.