Children’s Villages The Gambia, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with three institutions: Sinchu Orphanage, Hart House and
Shelter for Children at the SOS National Office in Bakoteh.
SOS Children’s Village The Gambia is a Social Development Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) with a mission of building families for children in need (those who have lost parental care and those at risk of losing parental care).
They help children shape their own future and share in the development of their communities.
Strategically, SOS Children’s village The Gambia has championed a series of child’s rights and child protection issues in The Gambia.
Mrs Mariatou Sallah, National Director of SOS Children’s Village, said in 2015, SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia held a 3-day National Forum on quality care for children in the alternative care system.
She said during the forum, participants came up with recommendations, including establishment of four care institutions: Sinchu Orphanage, Shelter for Children, Hart House and SOS Children’s Village.
She added: “As we sign this Memorandum of Understanding, I hope it will strengthen our partnership in the coming years, as they will be jointly implemented by all to ensure ‘Child Right to Quality’ in support of government’s drive to secure social protection for all children.”
Beatrice Mendy, a student of SOS LUBS, gave a brief background of the three institutions, saying that Hart House’s goal is to provide residential short-term respite care for Gambian children with learning difficulties, assess developmental level of the children and to encourage them to reach their full potential, by offering them a varied and stimulating programme of activities.
She said Hart House stimulates local and national awareness of children with learning difficulties, by involving the local Gambian community, including local children within the activities of the home.
Hart House supports a maximum of 27 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years in these conditions, she said.
She said for Sinchu Orphanage, the organisation currently supports 25 children between the ages of 0 and 17 years and also works on various projects for the local community to improve their future prospects.
This, he said, calls for an approach involving closely linked methods that are firmly rooted in the community, focusing on the future and a better life.
They support children in education, health and care, she stated.
She said Shelter for Children is a government facility for emergency placement of children, and the main objectives are to provide temporal placement and care to the vulnerable, by providing services such as to promote the welfare of children and their families.
For her part, Aminata Sessay, manager of Sinchu Orphanage, said the MoU was a step in the right direction for them to come together and work for the way forward, adding that their main goal is the life of the children.
Mr. Geoff Hunwicks, the proprietor of Hart House, expressed appreciation to the SOS children village management for coming up with the initiative to partner with them in the development process.
Mr. Geoff challenged both the institutions that signed the MoU to take it seriously and work hard to achieve their aim and objective for the children.
Omar Bojang, the manager of Shelter for Children, who expressed their pleasure as partners, said the MoU would go a long way in strengthening close collaboration with them.
He described the MoU as timely, noting that they have been working together for so long for their partnership to take place.