Youth Matters: UYA, SFP award volunteers, partners

Friday, July 18, 2008
The United Youth Association, in collaboration with the Service for Peace of America, on Wednesday, awarded seventy members of the association, partner organisations and individuals in “recognition of their selfless services to the association and the society” over the years. The award ceremony took place at a colourful ceremony held at the Bakau Newtown community centre.

The seventy member volunteers received awards in three categories: platinum -150 hours of selfless service, gold-100 hours, and silver - 50 hours.

Among those awarded included Musa Conteh, chairperson of the association; Hatab Fadera, secretary general; Kawsu Jaiteh, program coordinator, and Ida Jeng, assistant program coordinator, all of whom received the platinum award.

Institutions such as The Gambia Radio and Television Services, child protection alliance, Gambia Family Planing Association, New World For Youth, National Aids Secretariat, and the National Youth  Council were also awarded.  High profile individual awards were given out to personalities such as Mayor Yankuba Colley of the Kanifing Municipal Council, Alhagie Jawara, veteran philanthropists, Ebrima Jadama of Family Federation for World Peace, Binta Saidy, honourary mother of UYA, Famara Fofana of GRTS, amoungst others.

Speaking at the occasion, Musa Conteh, chairperson of the United Youth Association, hailed the awardees for their invaluable contribution to the association, as well as the country.  Conteh recalled that his association was conceptualised in 2005, with a view of engaging young people into an organised group in the quest to addressing social problems impeding their growth and development.

“It also seeks to empower its members and young people in general in the areas of education, building their capacities on awareness issues such as HIV/AIDS, child right promotion and protection, sexual and reproductive health and rights, the menace of drug abuse, the burden of malaria, amongst a host of other pertinent issues,’’ he said.

According to him, since the inception of the association, they have been engaging in a series of selfless services geared towards making young people to be responsible to the cause of their society, noting that the award ceremony was meant to show appreciation of his members volunteerism.

The UYA chairperson recalled that his association started collaborating with the service for peace of America in 2005, noting that since then they have benefited a lot from them.  Prominent among the benefits, he said, included the annual scholarship program for needy students of the association.

While commending the service for peace under its current international advisor, Beverty Bandt, chairperson Musa Conteh challenged the awardees to double up their efforts to the cause of his association and young people in general.

For her part, Beverty Bandt, international advisor of service for peace of America joined the UYA chairperson in commending the awardeds for their efforts, noting that they deserve to be awarded.

She noted that young people of the Gambia are full of ideas, and that their efforts should be complemented in a bid for them to realised their aspirations.

Madam Bendt described their collaboration with the United Youth Association as fruitful, noting that the association had inspired many young people to venture into meaningful activities geared towards improving the society.  She hailed her US student volunteers for rendering 3 week selfless service to the Gambian communities.

While assuring her unflinching support for the association, the service for peace international advisor urged young people to change the culture from self centeredness to living for the sake of others to live.

Hatab Fadera, secretary general of United Youth Association stressed the need for young people to venture into meaningful activities that will immensely contribute to the successes of their life.

Ebrima Jadama of family federation for world peace urged young people to be worthy ambassadors of their society.

Other speakers at the occassion included Binta Saidy, honourary mother of the association.

In a show of appreciation, the united youth association members presented gifts to their American counterparts.

Author: by Kemo Cham