First group of Gambian returnees graduates from poultry training program
Banjul – On Wednesday, 14 November 2018, thirteen Gambians received poultry farming and production kits consisting of 500 chicks, chicken feed, poultry medication, equipment and tools for the construction of a chicken coop. The handover of the kits marked the successful completion of the business start-up program for returned migrants established by IOM in partnership with EMPAS Poultry Processing Company Ltd.
During the three months training, the young Gambians, all returned from Libya, received targeted training to help them become self-sufficient. “We learned various skills, including how to manage our businesses and how to get more customers,” said Foday Nyabally, one of the graduates.
Since January 2017, IOM has welcomed 3,727 Gambians who had attempted to reach Europe through “the backway”, a Gambian expression used to describe irregular migration. The poultry farming training is part of IOM’s reintegration program for these returned migrants, to enable them to become self-sustainable and contribute to informed migration decision-making.
“We are looking at you, the first graduates, as role models to future Gambians who will be enrolling in training courses at EMPAS”, said Ms. Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia.
The graduation of this first group of Gambians is a milestone in IOM’s growing partnership with the private sector to ensure the sustainable reintegration of returned migrants to The Gambia.
Back in May 2018, IOM signed an agreement with EMPAS to provide on-the-job training to 64 IOM beneficiaries—equipping them with the technical skills to breed poultry and with support to set up or strengthen a small business. Poultry farming is a unique opportunity for local market growth in The Gambia, where a large majority of products are still imported. The second group of returned Gambians is set to graduate in December 2018.
“[You] are forward thinking individuals who understand that investing in the present will lead to a positive future” said Mr. Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador to The Gambia to the fresh graduates.
The poultry farming training program in The Gambia is implemented in the framework of the EU-IOM Joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, with funding from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).