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National Volunteering Stakeholders Workshop

Dec 1, 2009, 3:55 PM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

The Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) The Gambia, in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, recently held a national volunteering stakeholders workshop, at Dunes Hotel in Kololi.

It could be recalled that about a year ago, VSO had conducted a feasibility study on the national volunteering in The Gambia, aimed at reviewing how national volunteering could promote active citizenship and support the attainment of the development objectives.

The stakeholders' workshop is intended to share the lessons learnt from the study, and to solicit the views of stakeholders in the design and implementation of national volunteering in The Gambia.

Speaking at the event, VSO Country Director, Kaddy Jatou Lamin Njie, said that VSO has been supporting international volunteering in 44 countries around the world for 50 years.

According to her, ten years ago VSO had recognised that deep-rooted in cultures and traditions of many countries in Africa and Asia are the teachings and practices of selfless to the community. 

She revealed that in 2008 VSO study indicated that in The Gambia volunteering has been a major development strategy used in the villages and towns throughout the country, such as Tesito and Set Setal.

In his remarks, the Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Mr. Abdoulie Touray, said the workshop came at a time when The Gambia is reviewing its second poverty reduction strategy paper, which is at risk by the lack of capacity to deliver key priority programmes and activities.

Baboucarr Boye, the  Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education also spoke about the importance of voluntarism, while imploring participants to keep up the spirit of voluntarism.