Source: Daily Observer
The International Visitor's Leadership Programme (IVLP) Gambia chapter on Tuesday launched the Women Empowerment Project during a three-day workshop at the Tango conference hall, along Bertil Harding Highway.

IVLP Gambia chapter was formed to bring about greater contact and understanding between the people of The Gambia and those of the United States of America, through cultural and other exchange programmes.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bolong L. Sonko, the secretary- general of the IVLP, highlighted the significance of the workshop, noting that the project like others could not have come at a better time, because one of the challenges facing The Gambia, Africa and the world at large is the problem of youth unemployment, particularly among women.

He added that the youth constitute the majority of the populatiogan in the country. According to estimates, he said, over 50 percent of the Gambian population is under the age of 20 and the unemployment rate in this category 15-30 years is very high, particularly among women.

"In recognition of this challenge the Programme for Accelerated Growth & Employment (2012-2013) has placed a special emphasis on employment creation among the youthful population, through increased national training and the creation of more job opportunities amongst other strategies," Sonko stated.

The secretary-general of the IVLP noted that the project is implemented to complement government's efforts. Noting that the government cannot do it all, he said, those with the required skills, knowledge and experience have an obligation to assist the community to face the development challenges.

According to him, this project with funding from the United States Embassy in Banjul is the second project to be implemented by the association. He said the current women empowerment project being implemented with Think Young Women (TYW), aims to empower young Gambian women, so as to improve their socio-economic conditions.

Sonko assured the participants that during the three-day programme they will be exposed to a number of ideas and concepts. He thus encouraged them to continue the learning process, which he added, will be supported by their mentors by way of practical guidance in life.

For her part, Santang Nabanneh, the founder of Think Young Women gave a brief background of the association, which she said, was formed in 2010, but officially launched in 2011. She added that it's a young women's organisation that focuses on building leadership skills of emerging young women.

Nabanneh added that her organisation has conducted a series of programmes on leadership skills, training of young women, among others.

The founder of Think Young Women pointed out that the young ones are the future leaders of tomorrow. She therefore urged them to take up the challenge and tighten their belts and contribute their quota to national development. Highlighting the importance of knowing your rights, she tasked them to take the programme seriously and disseminate the information, to other young women like them.

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