Feb 2, 2015, 10:30 AM
The donated equipment and education materials as well as garden tools were distributed among Serekunda General Hospital, Bansang Hospital, Janjanbureh Health Center, Armitage Senior Secondary School and other schools in Janjanbureh at a ceremony held at the Serekunda General Hospital.
Speaking at the presentation, Susan Davey-Macdonald, chairperson of the Jersey Africa projects, said: “In 2004, we took part in a Jersey Overseas project to build a skills center in Sohm village, Kombo east, in The Gambia.
Two of them “were so taken by the charm of the people yet saddened” by their living conditions, she said.
“We felt inspired to help them further, and with assistance from families and friends we started planning small projects to help improve lives in the village,” she said.
Davey Macdonald said they had embarked on such assistance project in The Gambia for a good number of years, through which the Jersey Africa projects has been able to sponsor about twenty children from poor families in many different areas of The Gambia to acquire education up to higher level.
According to her, each year the foundation buys and fills a 20ft container with essential goods in Jersey and ships it to The Gambia to assist the needy.
Banks in Jersey often donate used computers and office equipment to the project, she said, adding that Jersey schools also often provide lots of “very useful items” such as desks, tables, chairs and books to be donated in The Gambia.
“Our hospitals give equipment, beds and other medical items to support the needy in The Gambia,” she said. “To carry on our work we have to rely on donations from individuals and private companies, and our own fund-raising efforts such as bag packing in supermarkets.”
She also seized the opportunity to thank Mr Morro Ceesay, coordinator of the project in The Gambia, without whom the project would not have been realised in The Gambia.
She also expressed delight and appreciation for the support they receive from the Gambian people, whom she described as “very hospitable”.
More items and support for the Gambian people are in the pipeline, she said, and advised the beneficiaries to properly utilize the items donated to them.
For his part, Momodou Ceesay, a native of Janjanbureh and a retired civil servant of the Department of Water Resources, said he was lucky to meet with Susan Davey-Macdonald, founder and chairperson of Jersey Africa Projects, who told him about her plans to open a charity organization to assist Gambians.
Mr Ceesay said Jersey foundation had been assisting people in The Gambia with similar donations, which include hospital equipment, learning materials for schools in Janjanbureh, including kindergartens, primary, secondary and high schools in the country.
Also speaking at the presentation, Mr Tumani Janneh, a senior nursing officer at the Serekunda General Hospital, who doubles as the hospital administrator, expressed delight at the donated items.
He said getting adequate incubators was a major problem of Serekunda hospital, but the intervention of Jersey Foundation had brought some respite to that need of the hospital.
He thanked the donors for the donation, saying the items would help the hospital greatly.