SOS YOUTH FACILITY BASSE LOCATION

INTRODUCTION

SOS Youth Facility Basse Location was officially inaugurated by Dr. Amavi Bada, National Associations Executive Management Advisor on 10th January, 2018 in a colourful ceremony witnessed by the Regional Governor, Fatou Jammeh Touray, National Director of SOS Gambia, Mariatou Sallah, National Programme Development Advisor, Ebrima Jobe, Programme Director Basse Location, Village Director CV Basse, Location staff, SOS children and youths and invitees from the local community.

Activities leading to the establishment of SOS Youth Facility Basse Location gained momentum during the last quarter of 2017. By 1st December, 2017, 31 youths (all boys) had moved in with their basic necessities, giving way to the full operationalization of the facility. Thanks go out to the new leadership of the Organization for not only being action-oriented, but also results-focused.

However, the Youth Facility did not begin functioning in a smooth course. There were some pending necessities at the time, making life a bit challenging for the youths as well as for staff. But one thing that kept things moving was the foresight and commitment of the NO and the Location Management and their renewed interest in pursuing the next building block of success for our youths. Without prejudice, I therefore wish to acknowledge and salute the efforts and selfless sacrifice of the National Director, the National Programme Development Advisor and my Location Supervisors, Mrs. Fatou Touray and Mr. Alieu L.N. Colley (Village Director and Programme Director respectively). Together, you have worked to get the success story written in our history books. 

LIFE IN THE YOUTH FACILITY

The Youth Facility is the next home of every child growing in the SOS Children’s Villages and offers youths the opportunity to practice living semi-independent lives outside the direct control and supervision of the SOS Mothers. This becomes their permanent home for the next three to five years when they will be resettled back into their homes of origin. Under the close supervision of the Youth Leader, youths are availed self-development opportunities that are designed to prepare them for the challenges ahead, in life after SOS. Guidance and counseling are an integral part of this preparation process and centres around real life issues like peaceful co-existence, participation, rights and responsibilities and of course their education, to name but a few. Ever since our establishment here, several counseling sessions have been conducted with the VD and PD presiding over some.  Few of these counseling sessions were on one-on-one basis whilst others were conducted in groups.

PARTICIPATION is one fundamental role of every youth living in the youth facility. Youths are encouraged and motivated to take active part in both their educational and extra-curricular activities. Each youth has been placed in a group and joins their respective groups to do their tasks. Tasks in the extra-curricular activities mainly include cleaning, cooking, gardening and sports.

EDUCATION is one of the tools the organization continues to use to transform the lives of the children in her care and guarantee them good placement in the wider society after exiting SOS programmes. This is done through the identification of good schools, as per local standards, and the provision of adequate learning materials. School visits are conducted by the Youth Leader to obtain information on attendance and performance.

This year, Peace Ambassadors The Gambia (PAG) invited SOS Youth Village Basse to its annual National Youth Leadership Training held in Banjulunding (WCR) from 30th March to 5th April, 2018. Ten youths were selected to attend the training (see image below).

FRONT (L-R) Ebrima N.K. Jallow, Bulli Touray, Lansana D. Marena, Joseph Sambou, Edrissa Jabbi BACK(L-R) Youth Leader, Hassan Sidibeh, Alagie Sabally, Bubacarr Sidibeh, Ousainou Sidibeh, Muhammadou Sawaneh