Sep 16, 2009, 6:43 AM
The presentation ceremony was held at PIA multipurpose hall in Kanifing.The beneficiaries were Sobeya skills training centre, D88,000; Taku Legaye skills training centre, D91,000; Basse skills training centre, D65,000; Simma skills training centre, D68,800, and President International Award, D97,500.
Speaking on the occasion, Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh, executive director of Women’s Bureau, commended the foundation for “the laudable initiative”.
Madam Jammeh-Sidibeh, proprietor of Sobeya skills training centre, said the sponsorships would go a long way in contributing to the realisation of The Gambia government education policies and programmes as well as the national youth policy.
She noted that most skills centres are now filled with young girls and women and that will complement the gender and women empowerment initiatives of the government and other development agencies.
“It would further enhance the skills and reduce the level of dependency among girls and young women thus making them economically independent to contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the country,” she said.
According to executive director of Women’s Bureau, skills training is now one of the most needed apparatus for the development of a nation.
Madam Jammeh-Sidibeh explained that education and skills can open doors to economically and socially rewarding jobs and can as well help the development of small informal businesses.
She pointed out that investing in knowledge and skills is the cornerstone of developing an employable and globally competitive work force.
Caroline Schaap, board chairperson of Gambian Children First Foundation, said the foundation has been operating in The Gambia since 2002 by providing sponsorship to needy students to learn skills at different institutions in The Gambia.
She said during their 14 years operation in the country, they have invested about D7 million towards the education of about 500 students at 6 skills training centers.
Ms Schaap said their support is cognizance of the fact that the level of development of a country depends a great deal on the level of education.
“Research has also shown that countries that have a certain level of education among women tend to develop much faster than countries where women have no education at all,” she said.