ChildFund Gambia reaffirms commitment to advancement of vulnerable children

By Kumba Leigh

As part of its commitment to help build the capacities and improve the lives of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children, ChildFund The Gambia, has signed Letters of Agreement (LOA) with their partners, aimed to create more opportunities for these children to effect lasting and positive change in their communities.

Mr Nfamara Dabo, Acting Country Director ChildFund The Gambia said collaborations with partners in the implementation of ChildFund’s child sponsorship, and other cross-cutting programmes across 32 community associations has been the heart of their development interventions since their inception in 1984.

Highlighting someone of their achievements, Mr Dabo revealed that more than 15,000 children have been sponsored and that as part of their grand plan to give 10,000 bikes, 2000 bikes have been given out to needy and deserving children, to enable them get to school on time and minimise child protection risks. "We launched an education and child protection project called ‘Dream Reader’ which is operating in all the five districts in Foni and targeting primary school children. This came courtesy of ChildFund Korea, seeking to enhancing the reading and writing skills of children in grades 4, 5 and 6,” he added.

He went on: “We have for the past years boosted the country’s Ministry of Health with two 20-foot containers on two separate occasions, loaded with highly sought-after medical supplies and pharmaceutical items to enhance health care delivery for the people across the different regions”.

The acting country director said these developments are indicative of the high premium they attach to the education sector. He underscored the need to recognise partners and stakeholders with whom they have collaborated in the past fiscal year. Some of these he said were: Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Child Protection Alliance, National Youth Council, UN Agencies especially UNICEF, WFP and the media.

Madam Rohie Bittaye Darboe, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare said they encourage partnerships that are not only community-driven but also complement the focus areas of the government, particularly issues relating to child protection, education, health care, family economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

She hailed the interventions of ChildFund in ensuring that Gambian children and their families are accorded a gamut of life-changing services in a holistic manner.

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Adama Jimba Jobe asserted that it is part of their mandate to give quality education to all children in the country and that ChildFund has taken 10% of that responsibility by providing support to their ministry through couching and the mentoring of children at no cost.

Edi Bah thanked ChildFund and partner federations for their collaborative efforts.