#Article (Archive)

NBR communities appeal for US assistance

Dec 21, 2010, 11:25 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The communities in three rural villages in the North Bank Region have appealed to the United States government through its diplomatic mission in Banjul to help improve their livelihoods in various ways.

The communities of Farafenni, Kinteh Kunda, Bainne, and Kumandar made this appeal to the new US Ambassador, Pamela Ann White, who embarked on a two-day tour of embassy-sponsored projects in the area, and held a series of meetings with the communities in the various towns and villages.

People in these communities requested the US embassy to help them with skills centres, scholarship for their children, construction of a bridge for women rice growers, milling machines, among others.

The chief US diplomat, during the tour, donated ten boxes of educational materials including books to Farafenni Senior Secondary School, where she was impressed by the performance of the school and the good management of the school principal, Mr Gigo. She also underscored the importance the US attaches to education, adding that it leads to socio-economic change.

At the school, Ambassador White held a short meeting with the school principal which covered the school enrolment, their constraints and challenges.

The principal gave a run down of the school activities, students’ academic performance and steps taken in improving the quality of the education offered. Ambassador White was taken on a conducted tour of the school facilities, including the wood and metal workshops, computer lab and the school garden.

Momodou (Papa) Njie, the US Embassy Education Advisor and Tula Orum, Public Affairs Officer, gave a briefing on fields of study offered in the US.

Also in Farafenni, Ambassador White met with the Chief of Upper Baddibu, Alhagie Ebrima Jammeh.

“We are proud that the embassy has chosen Farafenni to be visited by the new US diplomat, to see for herself the constraints and challenges the community is facing,” the chief said in welcoming the guests. He called on the embassy to help in alleviating poverty in the country.

Ammbassador White in response told the gathering that she had been in Africa for 40 years, and understood African problems, noting that the question people should ask now is how to get Africa out of poverty. She says that this will not be achieved if our children are not educated.

According to her, every generation has a responsibility to make its contribution for another generation. While assuring the community that the US embassy will see how best it can help, Ambassador White noted that education can fully emancipate the whole community out of poverty.

Alagie Lang Dibba Khaddy, a village elder in Farafenni, appealed for scholarships and sponsorship to enable their children to go to school, as the they (the parents) cannot do it alone.

Other speakers, including Mustapha Dibba and Wassa Sowe, Ward Councillor of Farafenni, all appealed on behalf of the town for the embassy to help them with a milling machine, skills centre and roads connecting the satellite villages.

The delegation also visited Essa Touray Computer and Information Training Centre in Farafenni, where the proprietor explained to the delegation the operations of the centre. He stated that the centre was built to train school dropouts in IT, and solicited the support of the US Embassy in the area of expansion of the centre to meet the demand from the populace.

He further explained that the centre provides training for more than 100 youths in the area. Ambassador White expressed her impressions about the centre.