• Jane Smith

Coffee with Omar Jammeh


In February Omar Jammeh our Gambian Director was interviewed by Sainabu Jagne on ‘Coffee With …Omar Jammeh' where he speaks of his involvement with the developments of JUST ACT the NYC organisation which sprang from the charity Just Act Gambia. She asked penetrating questions and Omar answered in depth. This is just a summary of the main points


Early Influences

Omar ‘Jatto’ Jammeh spoke of the influences of his childhood combining rural and urban experiences, mainly as a result of his father’s employment. Being born in JJB but moving to the urban area for Upper Basic education he returned to JJB to attend Armitage Senior High School. Possibly influenced by his father’s interest in tourism he decided to seek qualifications in tourism at ITTOG, Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia.

Being stubborn (as a child) may have no future

but now I am stubborn but based on facts and realities’

He admitted to being stubborn as a child and also continuing to be so but for a different reason


His many roles

Sainabu Jagne referred to his many roles and Jatto explained just some of them as first Vice Chair and then Chair of the CRR Regional Youth Committee, and a council member of the National Youth Council.

The Stone Stone Circle Excellence Award 2019

https://www.justactgambia.org/post/our-director-omar-jammeh-wins-2019-youth-excellence-award









How did the award affect your work?

Omar said it was recognising a strong team working with him and it inspired him to continue and do more .









Just Act Gambia and JUST ACT

He mentioned how the charity was formed by the late Hon. Foday Manka for Janjanbureh and Jane Smith from the UK mainly focussing on sustainable tourism development with early local tour guides being trained in 2012 and funded by Just Act Gambia


Many of the developments which have happened since

are because of the formation of JUST ACT the National Youth Council affiliated organisation, rapidly becoming independent of the charity


Tour Guide Training and the Kankurang Festival

The interview covered many areas at depth, including the official training of local tour guides (read more here) and the introduction of the Annual National Kankurang Festival, initiated through JUST ACT but passed over to the community development.


Hospitality, electrical work, plumbing

He also spoke of the importance of training in many areas such as plumbing and electrical work , very much employing local youths. in creating the Youth Booth Youth Booth Development

and the establishment of training in hospitality through GTHI Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute.


Youth Activator and Entrepreneur

Asked about his role as an entrepreneur and Youth Activist and experience with business advice, he explained that it had come in to use as they helped Community Based Tourism develop. Communities had potential ideas but needed the support and experience of entrepreneurship, business advice and youth development to put them in to practice and create life changing income earning opportunities.


Rocognising the input of institutions

Youth Employment Project

IMVF

Tekki Fii

Enable

Not referred to but also essential

Coopi

How to reduce the rural urban drift?

Omar felt this was the most important and difficult question.

Whilst being opportunities for training in rural Gambia his view is that there are two main problems:-

  • Training comes from many organisations, frequently similar and repetitious

  • The target should also include those in rural Gambia who have not received education therefor denied the opportunity to access and fill in grant application forms

The solution would be a single institution to coordinate them all.

In conclusion Omar encouraged all young people to take the opportunities available to them and they are actively encouraged to do so but that they can move forward on their own believing in themselves and with.......

Patience and Hard Work


This is but a précis of a detailed interview.

Please explore it here.

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