Aug 19, 2016, 9:46 AM
on the recommendation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),
lawmakers yesterday overwhelmingly voted for a motion seeking the recognition
and commemoration of the 15th day of Ramadan as Orphans’ Day in the Islamic
organization’s member states.
The lawmakers held an extraordinary session yesterday to declare the 15th day of Ramadan as Orphan’s Day, as recommended by the OIC for its member states and international humanitarian organizations.
The OIC in June appealed to all its member states and humanitarian organisations to undertake all relevant actions to raise awareness on the issues of orphans and their needs, on the occasion of the Orphan’s Day in the Islamic World, set for the 15th day of Ramadan annually, after a resolution was passed in Conakry in 2013.
The foreign minister, Neneh MacDouall-Gaye, who tabled the bill before lawmakers, said the plight of orphans is of great concern to the governments of the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
“The issue and plight of Orphans worldwide with particular emphasis on the plight of Orphans in the Islamic Ummah is a matter of great concern to individuals, governments, the international community and humanitarian organisations and our great leaders of the Islamic Ummah.”
Minister MacDouall-Gaye also revealed that the OIC has recently written to all its member states reminding them of the need to approve and recognise the day.
She said, “The Gambia has paid particular attention to the vulnerability of orphans locally, as well as in other OIC member states.”
The needs of orphans in the Islamic world struck by disasters are immense and the “responses still remain inadequate”, she added.
The lawmakers unanimously welcomed the motion, describing it as “timely” and “relevant”.
The deputy Speaker, Hon. Fatou Mbye, spoke on the relevance of the day, saying it is very important to observe the day - especially on the 15th of Ramadan as Orphans’ Day.
She said that in 2003, the Social Welfare Department did a survey which revealed that about 65,000 orphans and vulnerable children are in The Gambia, and she was sure that by now that figure had increased.
The OIC launched a special programme for the welfare and protection of orphans, after the catastrophic Tsunami that hit Indonesia and a number of other states.
The Gambia is preparing to host the OIC summit in 2018.