CEO of Vision Development Foundation has commissioned a D500, 000 borehole
project in Kerr Demba Holley, Upper Niumi of the North Bank Region. The
project, to be powered with solar and storage tanks will ease water supply
difficulties for dozens of villages once completed.
Mr. Modou Turo Darboe travelled with a small delegation of his NGO officials from his house in Fajara; crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Banjul on to the remote villages of Upper Niumi District. He was there to formally accept and show his appreciation to the group for christening him their honorary father.
The ceremony took place in the Kerr Demba Holley village, about ten kilometres off the main high way, where half of a dozen motorcycle riders gave escort on gravelled-roads covered in dust. The sounds of their engines overshadowed the multiple horning from the vehicles as the motorcade drove the potholed road into the bush.
Just on the outskirts of the village, another half other motor cycles, covered in leaves and waving flags of different colours and sizes; horses ridden by the group’s youths, reinforced the motorcade. Crowds of youths, both male and female, dressed in T-shirts labelled with their group names and that of Modou Turo Darboe, began cheering and shouting: “welcome! Darboe!”
After about 500 meters ride into the village, middle-aged women, dressed in colourful ashobi, some carrying kids on their backs, joined in with drumming and dancing. The beats of the sabarr and the talking drums ensured the ambiance got merrier by the minute, while the youths walked alongside the convoy on foot, with deafening screams and jubilations.
The group, Pakala Demba Holley, comprises youths from the village, along with others from the 62 villages in Upper Niumi District pledged to strive to bring development to their communities. They received a D100, 000-cheque from Mr. Darboe to invest into any developmental project of their choice, while the only lower basic school in the village area received D50, 000.
Berending women’s group, who also graced the ceremony, went home with D25, 000 while D62, 000 was to be divided among each of the respective mosques of the settlements in Upper Niumi to ask for their prayers.
In welcoming the honorary father and delegation, Chief Momodou Chatty Cham said the christening was an honour bestowed on Mr. Modou Turo Darboe whose humanitarian work reached all in The Gambia. However, he emphasised that such an honour goes with responsibility on the side of the children who he challenged to live up to the legacy built by their father.
Chebbo Saho, Chair of the village’s council of elders, also said the mantle of strive that laid the foundation of the Pakala Demba Holley group in the past decades have now been passed on to the young ones. He reminded them that dedicating honorary fatherhood to the businessman and philanthropist came with the approval of the elders of the village too.
“It was through those efforts (of the elders) that hand pumps, mosques and schools (both Quranic and conventional) were built, and wells sunk. Thus the responsibility has now been passed on to the young,” he added.
“Identifying Mr. Darboe as honorary father is not a lost cause,” assured the former secretary general Njogu Bah, who happens to live in the village next to the ceremony grounds. “Throughout the years that I knew him, all he stood for was humanitarian work towards the needy. He did this in Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau,” Mr Bah said.
In expressing appreciation to the group for the gesture, Modou Turo Darboe said he was a man of few words because he was not a politician. He pledged that he will endeavour to live up to expectations of the honorary fatherhood.
He advised the youths to be hard working and seek blessings of God and their parents in whatever they are doing.