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Network For Reintegration And Employment Of Returnees Launches In Gambia 

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BaSamba Drammeh with some of the returnees

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Network for Reintegration and Employment was launched in The Gambia on Thursday, August 31st, 2023. Its primary mission is to aid Gambian migrants coming back from Europe in successfully reintegrating into their native land.

The project also seeks to help the returnees continue their professional pursuits or explore new opportunities for a comfortable and prosperous life.

BaSamba Drammeh, the executive director of the organization, said the project seeks funding from the EU and other international bodies to provide comprehensive support, resources, and training to facilitate the successful transition and reintegration of the returnee migrants.

Mr. Drammeh highlighted some of the objectives of their association.

“Our objective is to offer tailored reintegration assistance to Gambian returnees, focusing on building a strong support network, accessing essential services, and navigating bureaucratic processes. And also help them in skills development to provide vocational training programs and capacity building workshops to enhance the returnee’s’ existing skills or help them acquire new skills that align with the job market demands in the Gambia,” he highlighted.

He added that the returnees are still open to dialogue with the government to discuss the way forward. 

“That is what they are asking for. That is why they put themselves together to form this organization; they have a working group, and they want to enhance their skills, so they are calling now on the government to come forward and discuss with them, to support them,” he stated.

Mutarr Jallow, the vice president of the organization, who is also a returnee, stresses that even though the government failed them, they are still calling on them to come forward and collaborate with them to develop the country for the betterment of the young people.

“If the youth of this country progress, then the country will also progress, but if we the youth fail, then automatically the country will fail. So, obviously, for the government the steps that they are taking, they are not helping the youth to succeed. And if you look in the country, people who are depending on their brothers, and relatives who are living in Europe is too much. So if someone sacrifices his or her life from the Gambia to Europe, I think they deserve better than this,” he stressed.

He said the government should give the returnees all the money that they have taken on their behalf.

“We are calling on all the stakeholders who have formed their organization on behalf of the returnees; we are now telling you that we, the victims, now have our own organization, so we are calling on all the stakeholders to come and partner with us so that we can receive all the funds directly to support ourselves, because we are the ones who know what we want, and we know what we can do, so give it to us so that we can do it for ourselves,” he said.

He added that they want to now work directly with the government, the United Nations, the EU, and everybody else so that they can have a project that will help young people after them.

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