May 5, 2009, 6:19 AM
Comiurn Gambia, Ltd. and the US Embassy yesterday opened the doors of the new American Corner, signalling the start of a joint partnership between Comium and the US Embassy.
The American Corner is located within the Comium Office Building on Kairaba Avenue in an office space that Comium has donated for setting up a library and educational advising centre. Comium is also donating books, internet for computer access facilities, security and utilities to ensure that the American Corner become a success story.
The U.S. Embassy is donating computers, books, programmes and fittings.
The idea of an American Corner was first established as part of the US Department of State for Public Diplomacy outreach.
Today there are 400 American Corners throughout the world. The basic premise is that the centre is open to everyone and provides the community with access to educational materials. The U.S. Embassy met with several Gambian businesses to discuss the idea of the American Corner.
Amer Atwi, the Managing Director of Comium Gambia, likened it to a community library centre that supports Comium's corporate objectives to 'give back' to the public. Comium is also interested in social interventions that complement government's efforts in the education sector. Combining their resources into one common goal - providing access to education to the community - allows both Comium and the U.S. Embassy to achieve their goal in a coordinated effort.
The American Corner will open on Monday through Saturday and in addition to a library and internet for research and studies, an education adviser will be available every Tuesday from 9 - 4pm to assist students on their college works and research. Movies will be shown on Monday nights from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and guest speakers will lecture on a variety of topics on Thursday evenings.
The first speaker will be tomorrow April 8 at 6:00 p.m. Lamin Manga, a Gambian media specialist, will speak about his recent study trip to the US to learn about video development. The first movie (April 12) will be Tsotsi, the 2007 Best Foreign Film, about a young South African boy.
Ambassador Barry L. Wells, in his speech at the opening ceremony, said that the U.S. Embassy is enthusiastic about the initiative and the opportunities it presents to all Gambians.
"Comium's response to community needs is a model for all businesses to follow," Barry Wells, American Ambassador to The Gambia said at the opening ceremony.