Tuesday, May 30

ITTOG launches second phase of No Woman Left Behind training programme

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By Yunus S Saliu

In their continuing to build the capacity of vulnerable women through responsible tourism in the country, especially for migrant returnees and young women in the society, the Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG) in collaboration with its partner, AETHNIC of Barcelona Spain, on Saturday, 7th April 2023 launched the second phase of its No Woman Left Behind Culinary Art Skills and Entrepreneurship Training (CASET) Programme.

The launching of the programme took place at the ITTOG premises in West African Institute Complex, Kololi, and was presided over by the Minister of Women, children and Social Welfare.

In her launching statement, Honourable Fatou Kinteh, Minister of Women Affairs, Children and Social Welfare expressed delight on this important project and congratulated both ITTOG and AETHNIC of Barcelona, Spain for coming up with this comprehensive training program.

She assured that following the launching of this second phase, giant strides will be achieved in translating its core course skills of problem-solving, team skills, communication skills, entrepreneurship, and self-management among others into appropriate strategies for the economic empowerment of women.

The Minister commended the esteemed institutions for registering a good record in the first phase and “I am indeed impressed by the gender-sensitive spirit of your institution in encouraging women to take up courses that will provide underpinning theoretical knowledge as well as give them the competence to perform tasks associated with skilled jobs of routine.”

She dilated on the importance of skills building as a pillar to women’s empowerment saying, in the National Development Plan (NDP-2018-2021) and its successor Green Recovery-Focused National Development Plan 2023-2027 “is one of the several critical enablers of a progressive Gambian economy.”

Minister Fatou Kinteh stated that her Ministry seeks to mainstream gender in all sectorial policies and programs to effectively increase women’s participation in project implementation, community representation, and decision-making bodies throughout the country.

She affirmed that the second phase of the NWBL Culinary Art Skills and Entrepreneurship Training complements their work as a Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare to encourage women’s full participation in skills and knowledge building across all sectors in The Gambia.

However, “The Gambia under the leadership of His Excellency President Adama Barrow has demonstrated the importance of women empowerment and gender equality by establishing the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare accompanied by the preparation and implementation of the Ministry’s Strategic and Investment Plan 2021-2025, the Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2021-2025, the Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2021-2030, the National Strategy and Policy on FGM/C 2021-2030, National Action Plan on United and National Human Rights, Gender Equality and Fundamental Rights in Life and Work.”

Dr. Adama Bah, chairman Board of Director of ITTOG disclosed that the No Women Left Behind (NWLB) Project aims at training Gambian women in a situation of special vulnerability with the right skills and as entrepreneurs to facilitate the creation of small businesses managed by them.

He noted that the programme will mentor women involved, “most of who have received training and qualification at ITTOG in the production of local gastronomic products for the responsible tourism market. And this programme empowers women as entrepreneurs, empowers them in the exercise of managerial functions, and contributes to reducing the existing gender inequality in this area.”

Victoria Garcid, Project Director of Association Ethnic, Barcelona, Spain expatiated on the programme, saying it is a dream that no woman is left behind as women have equal rights like men.

She advised the students while imploring the men to be part of the movement “and join us. Women are united in the world to shine and help each other so share your dreams for support because keeping quiet will not bring a solution.”

So, “keep going with your dreams and do what you feel, ask for help share it and in between all of that we can help to manage each other.”Sheikh Tejan Nyang, Head of the School of ITTOG gave the opening remarks and moderated the launch of the programme.