Abuko Youth Association
Abuko Youth Association (AYA), was started through the work of KORI in 2014. It is now a youth led association with 60 young members, an elected committee and is fully registered in Gambia. They actively work to empower themselves and their community and are being trained in leadership, youth work, the arts and entrepreneurship. The members take part in bi- annual visit of ‘The Vessel UK ‘
DOAF is sponsoring members of AYA, providing finance for training and education. We pay fees directly to schools and training institutes and monitor sponsees progress. We aim to continue to nurture and support AYA in its growth and bid for its young leaders to be well trained and qualified.
Why AYA is important
Young people are leaving Gambia, migrating to Europe "Backway". This is a perilous journey, with traffickers, kidnappers and dangers at sea along the way, and many have died. This route ends in a crossing the medittranean illegally. The Mediterranean crossing took 3,550 lives in the first eleven months of 2015, hundreds more than 2014's total. 
AYA have been affected personally, losing friends, family and AYA members to the "backway". One of their main goals is to enable opportunities that provide young
- According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to enter Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece in the first half of this year. Last year 5,096 deaths were recorded (Chowdhury & Sundaram, 2017)
- The majority- including ‘economic migrants’, victims of ‘people smugglers’ and so on – were young Africans aged between 17 and 25 (Chowdhury & Sundaram, 2017)
For more information see: 2014 UN Development Programme report.