Gambia, an International non-governmental organisation operating in the Upper
River Region (URR) Wednesday disbursed eight hundred and six thousand, six
hundred and sixty four Dalasi (D806, 664, 000) to thirty communities as
community development grant.
The beneficiaries are communities that are currently participating in Tostan’s 3-year holistic community empowerment program.
The presentation was done at the URR Governor’s bantaba in Basse Mansajang Kunda and was graced by community representatives, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members, NGOs and local authorities including women councilors.
Regional principal education officer KeMintang Sowe described the move as another important milestone in the history of Tostan intervention in the region.
He said the intervention is meant to increase the beneficiaries’ income to improve their living conditions, which will in turn allow them to support their children’s education. He thanked Tostan for their continued effort in empowering URR communities and providing them with fund to help themselves.
The National Coordinator of Tostan, Edrisa Keita, said Tostan Gambia is committed to improving the lives and livelihood of URR communities. The Tostan boss added that the disbursement of funds is in line with the Tostan Holistic approach to community empowerment.
He explained that each beneficiary community would benefit D26, 880, adding that this will bring to total D5, 725,440 Dalasi Tostan has distributed to communities in URR since 2009.
“Tostan is not a financial institution but it is contributing to economic empowerment through the provision of community development grants.
Mr. Sowe assured the beneficiary Community Management Committees (CMCs) that the community empowerment facilitators will be supporting them in a regular monitoring by the micro-finance supervisor and the entire team would be conducted to reinforce the CMCs and the communities, so as to ensure that the funds are managed effectively and efficiently.
Fatoumata Jonfolo Jabbie, women councilor for Basse thanked Tostan for providing the funds with the objectives of empowering women and children who, according to her, are more vulnerable to poverty.
Deputy governor Omar Sey said the NGO has contributed immensely to the empowerment of the people of URR since the start of their intervention in the region. “The fund provided by is to help the communities to implement and manage their own initiative to serve as income generation for them to reduce rural poverty and complement the efforts of the government in poverty reduction and national development.”
On behalf of the beneficiary communities, Aminata Sowe acknowledged that the funds would go a long way in supporting them to realize their aims and objective, while promising that the money would be put into good use.