The Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs-Hon. Lusine Kallon, Commissioner of the National Youth Commission-Thomas Ngolo Katta, Executive Director of National Youth Service-Mohamed Onanah Jalloh and senior management of the Ministry of Youth Affairs on Monday 17th June, 2019 received the pseudo Minister of Youth Affairs, Ibrahim Yarjah in commemoration of the Day of the African Child.
Yarjah is an Albino that suffers from an eye defect but today occupied the seat of the Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Mohamed O. Bangura in line with President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction drive to give hope to children.
Given a brief update, the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs said they are very much concerned about early marriage and teenage pregnancy which is why they have a Gender Desk Officer as their focal person in championing issues of that nature. He said a lot of transformations have taken place since they (himself and the Minister) assumed the mantle of leadership.
According to Minister Kallon, the Car Wash Project was based on a consultative dialogue with the youth across the Freetown municipality as a way of addressing the felt need of those youths who are engaged in washing cars.
Mohamed Onanah Jalloh, Executive Director of the National Youth Service informed that the NYS was legislated in 2016 but its implementation only started in 2018. He said plans are underway to review the current Act as proclaimed by His Excellency Julius Maada Bio. He revealed that they were on a study tour in Ghana and Kenya ahead of the review process.
“We realized that the best model to addressing the growing challenges of our youth is the Kenya model,” he said, adding that, “the Kenyan model is carried out with some paramilitary training that will significantly impact on the youth in inculcating discipline and loyalty to the country.”
The NAYCOM Commissioner, Thomas Ngolo Katta said, “NAYCOM is being supervised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and we have so far made a lot of progress. We are currently embarking on two hundred acres of rice production and we are doing it in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture. We hope by next year we would be able to support the youth to have their own farms.”
He said there is no way that young people can participate in national development if they cannot fed themselves. He spoke on a project dubbed as the Commissioner’s flagship, women’s entrepreneurship and the support to girl child education.
The pseudo Minister of Youth Affairs commended the Minister and Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs for their untiring support to promote President Bio’s vision to empower and capacitate young people across the country.
“When I was coming here, my colleagues told me that I am coming to a very motherly Ministry and I have seen that demonstration,” said Minister Yarjah.
He said he was so impressed with the empowerment and capacity building drive, but went further to question the Ministry’s role in building the middle manpower of young people.