total of six students from Rietveld Lycevm High School and Graafschap College
in Netherlands accompanied by two teachers recently embarked on voluntary
community service at Latiriya market and health post in Kombo North.
The Dutch students are currently on a nine-day visit to The Gambia courtesy of Foundation Hands Together The Gambia which has been existing in the country for decades.
Tuesday and Wednesday, the students painted Latiriya Health Post which is sponsored by Foundation Hands Together The Gambia and the village market. They also donated educational materials and clothing to the community and Sare Wallom village in Upper River Region’s Jimara District.
Chairman of the Foundation Herbert Damen spoke on the significance of the exercise, while thanking the students for embarking on such kind of laudable initiative.
He recalled that the Foundation Hands Together The Gambia started back in 1999 with the objective of complementing government efforts in supporting Gambians, particularly those in the rural areas.
“We started sponsoring children to achieve quality education. However, due to the increasing number of enrollment in the school we decided to sponsor more children.”
According to him, they build a school in Latiriya starting with 35 children, saying as part of their commitment in achieving the Foundation’s objectives, they’ve now decided to expand the school with nine classrooms and up to 1, 200 students.
Mr. Damen said due to high rate of malaria within the community and the surrounding, they’ve also decided to provide a health post with the aim of arresting the menace. “We started building one room and employed a nurse there. Now I can happily tell that the health post has been expanded with more than 18 beds with 24-hour electricity supply which is greatly contributing in addressing the health problems of communities in the area.”
The Foundation, he added, is also sponsoring some young people within the area in skills like electricals, plumbing and carpentry among others with the objective to help them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the development of their own communities.
On some of the projects the Foundation brought to the doorsteps of the people Latiriya and surrounding communities, Mr. Damen said they also sponsored an orchard garden in the village with more than 400 women, who are working there equipped with a solar water pumping system.
One of the visiting students, Mara Abdalla dwelled on the importance of their trip to The Gambia, saying they’ve decided to conduct fund raising in Netherlands with Children Running for Money and to support Gambian communities.
Edwin Zweers and Jilke Radstake both teachers of Rietveld High School said the aim of their visit is to help Gambian communities. “We have decided to paint the village market and the health post to make it to look more beautiful,” Edwin Zweers stated.
The students will today Thursday travel to Sare Wallom in Jimara District with the chairman of Foundation Hands Together The Gambia to visit some of their projects and also to embark on similar community services.