In their bid to revitalise, foster unity and accelerate development, youths of Jappineh organise a week-long forum at the Central Jarra village. The youth forum injects energy into the Jappineh Youth Development Association (JYDA) which aims to bring the youths of village under one umbrella.

Jappineh is a unique village in the Gambia. Founded by the Dampha clan thousands of years back after the founding of Bureng in Eastern Jarra and neighbouring Badume, Jappineh is a village with two alkalolu, Tembato and Marukoto. This heavily diverse village youths think “what unites us is greater than what divides us.” It is against this background that JYDA has been rallying youths for road rehabilitation and cleaning of the village grave yard and forest park to arrest bush fires at a time campaigns are being mounted to protect the Gambia’s flora and fauna.

The forum, which brings together people with common interest, provides Jappineh residents of all walks of life the golden opportunity to discuss about how to maximise oneness, unity and cohesion among residents of the village. Speaker after speaker is convinced that the attainment of the above puts Jappineh on the “road to socio-economic, political development and prosperity.”

Among the guests at the closing program is deputy Imam of Jappineh, Alhagie Kabirou Dampha who exhorts youths to continue their good initiative. Imam appeals for unity among village youths because “It is only through unity and oneness that you can achieve progress. A united community can easily fulfill its dreams,” Imam Dampha says, praying for Allah’s Mercy and Blessings to shower on his people.

Both the chief of Jarra Central Alhagie Bakary Dampha and alkalo of Jappineh reiterated Imam Dampha’s words  of wisdom. Alhagie Ceesay, who gave a run down history  of Jappineh, credited the  success of their ancestors to absolute unity. “We must praise Allah for being natives of the country’s only village that boast of its own airport,” Mr. Ceesay says, reminding the gathering of the late 60s and 70s when tourists landed at Jappineh airport before being provided standard lodging in the village. “These tourists used to go on bird watching and hunting. Jappineh was also commercial center of Jarra; all these happened mainly because of villagers unity.”

The Governor of Lower River Region admires the Jappineh initiative and  hopes other towns and villages will emulate it. Mrs Fanta Bojang Samateh-Manneh believes that “no development can be attained without unity and the involvement of youth.” She describes youths as “agents of development anywhere in the world.” The Governor also stresses the importance of education, especially that of girls.

Chaired by Wuyeh Sanneh, other speakers  at the forum closure include Mrs. Jawaro Kambai, Alhagie Bakary Sanyang, Kawsu Drammeh and Seedy Jammeh.

JAYDA also reshuffles its executive by filling blank executive positions.

The program closes with a very scintillating debate on “who is responsible for deforestation – the government or the local people?” The Program Manager of Climate Change highlights on the effects of deforestation… The program wraps up with a drama on the misconceptions or bottlenecks hindering unity.

Ends

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