Brief History

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Brief History

The Gambian Youth Organization (GYO) was founded on Saturday February 23rd, 2002 at Eid al-Adha (Tobaski Gathering) at Malang Ceesay and Ousman Jammeh’s apartment on 1305 Sheridan Avenue, Bronx, NY 10456. The Idea of GYO originated from Momodou S. Sawaneh and was presented to a group of nine others who were founding members namely Malang Ceesay, Saine Jarju, Ousman Jammeh, Kawsu Minteh, Bakary Touray, Omar Koita, Alhagie Jallow, Buba Trawally and Fabakary Ceesay. The vision of its founders then, which continues to be our primary mission, was to lessen the sense of cultural alienation often experienced by new immigrant youth tossed in the midst of mainstream American culture. To this end, GYO creates healthy avenues for Bronx youths of diverse cultural identities to share and learn from each other’s’ cultural experiences while participating in community service projects, sports and other productive undertakings.



Christmas Eve Party – on December 24th, 2002, GYO launched first party (Christmas Eve) over 200 tickets sold at $10 per ticket at the Gambian society hall. Numerous Parties that follow became source of revenue for the Organization

First trip to Atlanta 2003 – GYO rented 15 passenger Van for 17 hours drive to Atlanta to reach out to other Gambian associations – attendees for that historical trip were Malang Ceesay, Ousman Jammeh, Buba Trawally, Momodou Sawaneh, Fatou jaiteh, Almany Gassama, Mbenda Njie, Awa Njie, Fatou Njie, Babe Ramou Njie, Diana Njie, Sainey Jarju, Lamin Dibba, Saibo Fofana

Other trips to Atlanta & ALD – yearly, GYO rented 56 passenger charted bus from 2004 to 2007 to Atlanta for soccer tournaments and community outreach. GYO made similar trips to Maryland for ALD.

Formation of GYO soccer team – in 2004, GYO soccer team was formed with the help of a few players: Saikou Demba, Lamin Konteh, Abass Jallow, Sainey Jarju, Kawsu Minteh, Momodou Sawaneh, Ousman Jammeh, Malang Ceesay, Buba Trawally and some members.

Student Sponsorship – GYO began student sponsorship through School for Progress on July 27th 2004. It continues these services up to date with the intension to provide tuitions/books assistance to students here in United States.

Hospital Beds to the Gambia – In 2007, GYO shipped 24 hospital beds from North Carolina to the Gambia Red Cross Society, that were distributed to Njawara, Kunjuru, Sabiji and Piran clinics

GYO acquired 501C3 – on September 23rd 2008, GYO acquired her tax exempted status 501C3 charitable organization. Malang Ceesay and GYO president Momodou Sawaneh spearhead this project.

GYO brought Jaliba Kuyateh for US & UK Tour – GYO brought Gambia’s top artist for one month plus tour in US/UK tour. Momodou Baldeh and Kawsu Minteh spearhead this project.

GYO acquired Community Center in December 2013 – GYO’s new home couldn’t come at better time than the time GYO acquired the center. Bakary Dembo Juwara and Tumani Nyassi renovated the center. Momodou S. Sawaneh found the location and negotiated lease signing with Omar Koita (both name are on the least voluntarily).
In August 2015, GYO recruited vibrant females – the young ladies (Fatoumata Gassama, Mariama Konteh, Mariama Gassama, Aminata Sillah, Jaharai Sillah, Aminata Touray, Fatima Daffeh, and Fanta Ceesay) who joined GYO spearhead Miss Gambia Pageant 2015, first in NYC with the Gambian community.

GYO First Miss Gambia Pageant in NYC on November 28, 2015 – more than 400 community members attended including the youth, elders and children. Thanks to our able GYO ladies (Fatoumata Gassama, Mariama Konteh, Mariama Gassama, Aminata Sillah, Jaharai Sillah, Aminata Touray, Fatima Daffeh, and Fanta Ceesay) for putting together a wonder show. We thank GYO members for setting up the auditorium where was help, for helping with the operations, for providing the facility for contestants and mentors to practice and coordinate the event.