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Dutch organization renovates Sukuta Health Centre

Jan 25, 2011, 11:12 AM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The 3-year project 'Humanitarian Aid - Sukuta Health Centre - 2009-2011 is a project initiatiated by a non-profit association Steen (Dutch translation for the word 'Stone'), situated in the city of Antwerp.

The project in collaboration with the vocational department of the Royal Atheneum in Schoten, a small village in the vicinity of Antwerp is renovating the Sukuta Health Centre.

The non-profit organisation Steen is an independent organization that undertakes humanitarian projects in Belgium as well as in developing countries.

The activities in The Gambia are now concentrated in Sukuta Village, Kombo North, Western Division, in particular in the Sukuta Health Centre.

The Royal Atheneum - Schoten/Schilde is a secondary school, with a total number of more than 1.200 students, and it has approximately 200 students in the vocational department. Yearly approx. 10 pupils are sent to The Gambia to realise this project, accompanied by 2 mentors.

When this reporter visited the Sukuta Health Centre last week, he was told by the project officials that the objectives of the project are multiple. First of all the annex building was made operational as an emergency room (theatre), an anaesthesia room and a recovery room.

It also will confront our pupils with - an make them aware about - the great needs of humanitarian aid to the South says Dr Inge Jacobs a member of the group.

"That brings us to the second aim of the project, namely re-attract youngsters whom for various reasons (social, pedagogical, etc.) are less interested in mainstream education and training. By direct involving them in ‘hands-on’ activities in real-life situations, the learning experiences of these youngsters are quite different than in a normal classroom situation."

It provides real-life challenges to the youngsters which they have to solve on their own in group. 

While linking this project on humanitarian assistance in a development country, namely making an annex building operational so an emergency theatre can be installed there and the maternity Centre in the main building of the Sukuta Health Centre is undergoing a complete renovation.

In addition, they work collaboratively with students of the GTTI, in a multicultural environment. This provides them with essential life skills such as active citizenship, development aid and working with others.

He said that with the partnership of the GTTI "we can realize all our defined objectives because this gives us access to young Gambians with some technical skills, to balance those of our own target group of young Belgian pupils."

The GTTI has pledged their fullest support for the achievement of these objectives in the knowledge that this balance holds great opportunities for their students as well.

"Apart from the GTTI we can count on the effective support of the staff of the Sukuta Health Centre, several inhabitants of the village of Sukuta, the Sukuta Village Development Committee, the local authorities of Sukuta (Council of Elders) and several national authorities (members of parliament)."

Aunty Sally Savage Officer-in-Charge of Sukuta Health Centre thanked the Dutch organization and all those individuals and intuitions support the health facility.

Alfusainey Gano for his part said they wanted to transform the health facility into a modern health centre.