Tuesday, March 28

Many Gambian youths express frustration; prefer foreign countries to seek greener pastures

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By Betty Ceesay

Gambian youth has expressed their frustration and preferred to leave for foreign countries to seek for greener pastures due to heartfelt hardship with little in return.

Haruna Drammeh, a mini truck driver, narrated his frustrations about the day-to-day struggles he faces as a family man, saying “I am not comfortable at all living in the Gambia. I couldn’t complete my education due to poverty and lack of support.  My father is a poor man with two wives, this made it difficult for us the kids to attain sufficient support in our education.”

He went on in his narration that he would have loved to complete his education which would have earned him a better future but was unfortunate. “I went into the driving business expecting things to be better but look at me still struggling”.

Haruna learned driving and was traveling between Banjul, West Field, Serekunda, and even go up to Basse still couldn’t make enough and now has resorted to driving a mini truck which doesn’t even belong to him.

Haruna said if he had a vehicle of his own, he would’ve been the happiest but nothing he has not tried in getting one for him even he said he would have loved to stay and work in the Gambia since all his family is here but the state of this country keeps discouraging him. Mr. Drammeh revealed that he tried to travel out of the country using the backway twice but failed.

Then “I came back to my work when traveling couldn’t work out for me, it’s better than staying out there selling human beings like myself”

Another driver by the name of Ebrima Balajoh said the challenges are many and things are hard but he is still grateful that he has something to hold on to still things could’ve been better regarding the increased prices and high crime rates and so on.

The best way he thought of a solution is to travel out of the country as the best way out for him. “I would’ve loved to stay in this country if things could get better, my family and friends live in the Gambia therefore there is no better place I would love to live than here but things are way too tough”

Momodou Salieu Bah, a 19-year-old student undergoing training at a mechanic shop explains that he is grateful for what he has, ” I am healthy, able to wake up every day and come to work I live in a peaceful country too, and for this, everyone should be grateful for what he/she has.

Salieu yet explains that he couldn’t complete his education because he had little support from his family. He noted that the actual reason why he couldn’t complete his high school education was that he lived in Ebo Town and was attending Gambia High School in Banjul, but “I couldn’t afford the transportation anymore. Anyway, it very sorrowful to drop out of school” explained he affirmed.

Momodou Salieu explained that he’s a good mechanic and very soon will look forward to opening his mechanic shop which is often the biggest problem they face as young people with skills but said if he gains the help, he needs he wouldn’t think of leaving the Gambia.

Awa Sarr a 23-year-old student of the Gambia College studying livestock expressed difficulty in paying school fees, “D21,000 is too expensive as entry fees for the average Gambia.” She urged able stakeholders to come on board to help young people who want to work for their country. Because “I would love to stay in my country and start a poultry business rather than take off to a country I hardly know anybody. But if I don’t have the help, I need it will become difficult.” She continued that thousands of students graduate every year with too little to expect from this country, it is difficult, Awa concluded

Mustapha Touray, an 18-year-old student who claimed to be a basketball player expressed grievance about the lack of attention and support for the talented of youths in The Gambia.

According to Mustapha, every youth in this country has talent but nothing is been done to help them utilize these talents. “We pay for the games we play instead of the other way round” stated Mustapha.

He said he wants to build a career in basketball and since nothing is been done towards that he badly wants to leave for the United States because he knows he can make it when he gets there. He advised the government to pay attention to the talents of its youths and establish career paths for them.