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Germany-based Gambian activist Yahya Sonko honored with prestigious ‘Diaspora Engagement’ award

Gambian Activist yahya sonko. Yahya Sonko, a Germany-based Gambian migration and human rights activist, received an award in the ‘Diaspora Engagement’ category at the 4th edition of the ‘Heroes Award’ on May 25, 2024, held at the Sir Dawda Jawara Conference Centre in Gambia.

The Heroes Awards 2024, annually organized by Fatu Network, recognizes Gambians both at home and abroad who have made significant impacts in various fields. The awards span ten categories and carry the motto “Honouring inspiring personalities.”

Sonko was nominated alongside two other contenders: Pa Ousman Joof, a US-based Gambian, and Join Hands 2 Save a Baby, a UK-based Gambian organization.
Read also: Migrant activist Yahya Sonko answers: Why ‘Gambian government should put more effort towards reintegrating deportees’

Widely known for his support of Gambian and African migrants not only in Germany but across Europe, Sonko has been a driving force in initiatives aimed at helping Gambians in the Diaspora from 2015 to date. His efforts have resulted in over 2,500 Gambians completing vocational training in Germany and earning professional qualifications.

He added “My stance is that should be recognised as agents for development, a quality that should never be overshadowed by the vulnerabilities they might face. I want the world to see the positive side of Gambian immigrants. There are clearly positive interlinkages between skills development and migrants’ contributions on both countries.

Sonko is the founder of Niumi FM Radio Station in Gambia, which aims to create employment for youth and address issues related to migration and community development.

“I am honored for the trust and confidence Gambians in Diaspora, have in me and I will continue to do my best, receiving this award is not just a recognition of my accomplishments but also a testament to the support, guidance and collaboration of many individuals and entities. This moment holds profound significance, marking the culmination of hard work, dedication and passion”

Sonko dedicated the award to his late mother, Ida Jammeh, who passed away two days before the ceremony. He expressed that the award honors her memory, as she taught him to always serve humanity and expect nothing in return.

Sonko is a founding member of the Gambia Refugees Association Europe, where he served as spokesperson, providing valuable information to migrants on schools, jobs, and settlement issues.

Due to his passion and dedication, He was elected as ‘SPRECHER INNA RAT’ (one of the speakers) of the Refugee Council of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. In this role, he served as a liaison officer, responsible for disseminating information among refugees.

He is also the chairperson of the Network of Reintegration and Irregular Migration Data in Gambia, an organization that collects data on returning migrants in various regions of the country. This network aims to reintegrate and support youth and returning migrants in Gambia by providing counselling and mentoring to help them overcome societal stigmatization.