SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia “Family Strengthening Programme in Soma” promotes quality education in the Four (4) Lower Basic Schools in Jarra West District Lower River Region

Monday, December 04, 2017

SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia - Family Strengthening Programme in Soma started in 2015. The Programme is supporting 1000 children from 334 families in 5 communities (Soma, Pakalinding, Genoi, Sey Kunda and Toniataba).

The overall objective of the programme is to enable children from 5 communities in Soma who are at risk of losing parental care to grow within a caring family environment

The project aims to enable children from 5 communities in Soma who are at risk of losing parental care to grow within a caring family environment.

Through consultation and collaboration with local partners with the Regional Education Directorate (Region 4), Family Welfare Committees, Schools Management Committees, Village Development Committees and Mothers Clubs, Pakalinding Lower Basic School, Soma Lower Basic School, Soma New Lower Basic School and Toniataba Lower Basic School; the schools’ needs were identified and supported with text books, teaching and learning materials, library books and support with access to clean water (transforming the school well into a solar borehole to ease water supply) and sanitary facilities in the construction of toilets which is all geared towards ensuring  that  children’s right to basic and quality education is strengthened. This intervention by SOS children’s Villages The Gambia amounts to D2, 194,352. 

A colourful handing over ceremony was held at the Soma Lower Basic School on Monday, 27th November 2017, and it was attended by The Governor of Lower River Region, Acting Regional Education Director for Region Four, Headmasters from the four schools accompanied by head boys/head girls, School Management Committees, Mothers Clubs, Family Welfare Committees and representatives of the Village Development committees.

In delivering his welcoming address, Mr. Demba Jawo, the Acting Regional Education Director for Region 4 expressed delight over the gesture and promised the office will closely work with all the recipient schools to ensure proper care for the books as they will enhance quality education that we all need to contribute. He reminded the gathering that SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia Family Strengthening Programme in Soma has contributed immensely towards all areas of educational improvement in the region and they are one of the most genuine partners that is working closely with his office. 

In delivering her speech, the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia, Madam Mariatou Sallah, said that SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia’s Family Strengthening Programme in Soma plays high premium in supporting children attain quality education and thus since the inception of the programme, a comprehensive support package has been rendered to four schools and vulnerable children and their caregivers in these communities. The survival and development of children especially in achieving quality education continued to be a challenge and it is one that confronts all African countries of which The Gambia is no exception.  Thus SOS Children Villages The Gambia being a global social development organization with a national presence is here to complement government’s efforts in achieving key Sustainable Development Goals benchmarks and education stands out to be key in any nation’s development.

She concluded by urging the recipient schools to handle the learning materials with care and transparency for the good of the present students and those coming in the future.

In her key note address, the Governor of Lower River Region, Madam Fanta Bojang Samateh Manneh extended her gratitude to SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia for the timely intervention. She informed the gathering that government places high priority in promoting quality education for children in The Gambia, but resources are scarce and thus partners willing to compliment government efforts such as SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia will always enjoy full support in meeting their aims and objectives.  She urged the school authorities and the students to take good care of the learning materials.

In delivering the vote of thanks, Mariama Kebbeh, an Executive Member of the Children’s Club in Soma firstly expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Foreign Ministry of Finland and SOS Children’s Villages Finland. She informed the gathering that supplying these educational materials came at the right time that these schools needed them most. She thanked all those who contributed in making the project a success and concluded that the educational materials “will surely be put into good use”.

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For more information, please contact: Mr Joseph Peacock, National Family Strengthening Coordinator at +220-9918602 – email joseph.peacock@sosgambia.org