The GAN is currently offering a mentorship program at two community centers in the Bronx, when at Webster Ave and the other at Sheridan ace. This program was born out of an urgent community in helping to change a spike in crimes among young people. Majority of them are first general Gambian whose parents hardly speak English. These children face cultural alienation at school while having little or no support system at home from mostly illiterate parents who are working around the clock. This situation creates a sense of frustration in them and forces to them gravitate towards the streets, which are infested with gangs and drugs. GAN was form at the backdrop of this reality. On the day of launching GAN, a renounce community leader, imam KABA, made an emotional appeal to us to help their teenagers. In his own words , “we have lost our children”. Some of these kids have drop out of school while others are in jail. Some parents had their children taken from them.
1. Educate the youths about the dangers of gangs and drugs and its ramification.
2. Sensitize them on importance of education thus help them stay in school.
3. For those who need jobs give them advice on job search.
4. provide them with vital information regarding support system available at government and local level.
5. Keep them engage in extracurricular activities such as sports.
These activities are conducted during the weekend by GAN executive members at a voluntary basis.
This program is renewed in a yearly basis. We measure our success upon evaluation to determine whether fewer kids are in trouble with the law; stem down the tide of school dropout; whether their grades are improving and how many of the were able to get jobs. So far we have seen improvements in all these areas. Imam Kaba who made that emotional appeal is more optimistic now and he is grateful for our timely intervention.