Monday, November 19, 2018
Eco Bank-Gambia Limited, a Pan-African bank recently commemorated its 6th Eco Bank day at a colourful ceremony held at the SOS Children’s Village.
The day, which is the sixth since the start of the initiatives, is aimed at supporting young lives. However, the theme for this year’s event is -‘It’s your day to make difference.’
Addressing the gathering, Mariatou Sallah, national director of SOS Children’s Village-The Gambia, said their cooperation with the bank and local communities has been instrumental in ensuring that vulnerable children are protected and their rights upheld.
She made reference to a popular adage - ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, positing that this has been their approach to assure the well-being of SOS community.
Sallah promised that through advocacy and social mobilisation, the rights of the vulnerable children will be upheld and respected.
On Children’s Act 2005, Sallah indicated that SOS Children’s village-The Gambia would continue to advocate for the rights of children.
She expressed optimism that a child’s development is best achieved in a conductive environment. And as such, she said they will continue to help children in a bid to shape their own future and partake in the development of their communities.
‘As a demonstration of our commitment to this course, Eco Bank-Gambia donated the following food items to SOS Children’s Village: 5 bags of sugar, rice, onions, potatoes, cartons of tea bags, milk, sardines, tomato pastes, juice and crates of egg.’
‘Eco Bank is a Pan-African bank of the people and for the people. We are aware that this comes with certain responsibilities, which we take very seriously. While our strategic focus is very much positively reshaping the African banking landscape, and serving our customers with cost-effective and convenient financial products, we also care about people in our local communities, says Lamin Sanyang, acting-managing director of Eco Bank.
He added; ‘We celebrate Eco Bank Day in all of the 33 African countries we are privilege to serve including Eco Bank-The Gambia Limited’.
Sanyang noted that most of the children are infants, who leave very difficult lives, saying they often have no support and have to fend for themselves.
Their rights and wellbeing, he observed, are jeopardised and many developed negative survival strategies such as stealing, fighting and engaging in unsavory activities that no child should be exposed to.
‘Because of their young age, many orphans are unable to find a steady income. Some are forced to single-handedly maintain a household, fund education and medical cost.’
He stated that recent events in Africa has caused surge in the number of orphans in Africa, saying some 4,000 children tragically lost parents due to the Ebola epidemic, which caused devastation when it spread through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014-2016, causing the deaths of 11,325 people according to the World Health Organisation.
Thus, he said gesture would go a long way to support SOS Children’s Village.
For Ousman Gaye, a representative from the Kanifing Municipality Council (KMC), their doors are always open to SOS Children’s Village as children are the leaders of tomorrow and thus need to be supported.
Author: Fatou Dem