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FROGS Officials Visit Barrow Kunda Lower Basic School

Jun 5, 2008, 4:54 AM | Article By: By Abdou Rahman Sallah

The officials of Friends of Gambian Schools (FROGS), a UK charity in The Gambia, yesterday visited Barrow Kunda Village in Wuli West District, Upper River Region.

Sally and Malcolm Readers were the guests of Beakanyang Kafo and Barrow Kunda Lower Basic School.

FROGS representatives were at the village to see for themselves the ongoing fencing project of the School being supported by the charity.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, Secretary General of Beakanyang, welcome FROGS to the village. He described FROGS as true and genuine friends of Gambian schools. "This is manifested by your timely response to our request to support this self initiated project,"  he said.

On behalf of Beakanyang, the community of Barrow Kunda, PTA and students of Barrow Kunda Lower Basic School he thanked FROGS for the trust and confidence in partnering with them to help the school.

According to Mr. Jawneh, FROGS is well known across The Gambia for giving assistance and supplying much needed materials to more than 250 schools and skills centres. Since the charity's formation in 1993, FROGS has shipped 32 sea containers from UK to The Gambia filled with school materials. The last two years or so have seen a change in policy by FROGS, inasmuch as they decided to change direction and use the funds raised in UK for projects like this, rather than spend 3000.00 pounds for each container shipped.

He also applauded the community of Barrow particularly the youths for their active participation in the work while encouraging them to maintain the good work.

"My gratitude also goes to the mesons for the good work they are doing.

I must urge the villagers to join us and develop Barrow Kunda as no outsider will come and develop the village for us, it has to come from ourselves and the good and genuine partners like FROGS"

He thanked the community for seeing the project as their own, a move he said is a sign of patriotism and a sign of the love and care they have for their children's education.

Mr. Jawneh also hailed the elders of Barrow Kunda for their prayers, encouragement and support to his organisation. " Our special thanks go to the girls and women of the village for always standing by our side. For those who are seeing us as a threat I say to them to view us as brothers and sisters as well as partners in development.

Our president said it before, that we must champion of development" he noted. He hoped for a more fruitful partnership between the two organisations. "This is the beginning and we want it to be a long and lasting partnership between us and FROGS."

He reiterated his organisation's commitment in complementing government efforts in the area of education.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Tumani Danjo, President of Beakanyang, said his organisation as a Registered Community Base Organization operating in the village and will continue to lead the development process of the village and the district as a whole.

He revealed that the organisation was founded in September 2001 with the aim of improving the livelihoods of the people of Barrow Kunda and its satellite villages. "Our key areas of intervention are education, health, agriculture and just recently sports.

Beakanyang is now becoming a household name in The Gambia particularly in this end thanks to the efforts of our able board, executive, volunteers and partners," he said.

Meanwhile, the organisation has its main office in Barrow Kunda village in Wuli and a chapter in the Greater Banjul Area known as Beakanyang Kombo Chapter.

The Organisation has a membership of over two hundred volunteers.

He recalled the numerous projects successfully implemented by the organisation such as the Orphan Care Project.

He also mentioned the various achievements registered by Beakanyang over the years. These he added include, a supply second hand clothing, books, pencils, foodstuffs, footballs and jerseys and uniforms worth over D100,000 to less privileged children in the community.

He said that they have also donated money and blocks for the Arabic school in the village, rehabilitation of the village heath post and Tobaski clothes to children.

"For us as young people of the village the development of our village is our concern. These numerous developments registered by the group are just the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to maintain the title of the most credible and development oriented group in the village and the region as a whole."

He said that their motto is  - Working together for a better life! He welcomed all the youths of the village to join them in their development endeavors. "We believe firmly that when we work together as villagers and development partners we can make a change," he said.

He used the opportunity to appeal to government and other NGO's and charities to help his group in changing the lives of rural Gambians.

He thanked the Secretary General of the organisation Mr. Nfamara Jawneh for using his resources, knowledge, experience and connections to help the less privileged in the society. He described him as a good citizen of the village. "His philanthropic gesture is not only benefiting this village but the entire country. You may be interesting to note that even the cement we bought from the FROGS fund was transported from Basse in a special truck paid for by him,"  he said.

Oustass Yahya Sumareh, Board Chairman of Beakanyang, thanked all those who help them pay their counterpart contribution. He however appealed for more support adding that they still need more cement to achieve their desired objective. He said that when completed the wall will provide maximum security to the school and its in habitants as well as the garden, trees and flowers.

For her part, Mrs. Sally Reader, FROGS coordinator, thanked the community of Barrow Kunda for their warm welcome. She assured them of their full support.

Lancho Barrow, PTA chairman of the school, applauded Beakanyang for the support to the village.

The occasion was graced by the Program Officer and Kombo Chapter Chairman of Beakanyang, Mr. Dutta Touray and Mamadi Barrow Respectively