May 29, 2009, 7:10 AM
The Gambia Social Development Fund (SDF) over the weekend disbursed money amounting to D563, 300 to Madina Sancha Village Savings and Credit Association (VISACA) in Kiang East, Lower River Region.
The money was presented at a ceremony attended by the acting Governor of L.R.R. Momodou Katim Touray, the Regional Fund Officer, Alhagie Bunja Ceesay as well as the Chairman of the Mansakonko Area Council.
According to officials, the money would be distributed to eight (8) villages in the region.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Alkalo of Madina Saneha, Mbye Ceesay expressed delight at the gesture and assured that the money will be paid back on time.
Aja Sohan Ceesay, the President of Madina Sancha Visaca expressed similar sentiments, noting that the loan has come at the right time. She said that the money would definitely help farmers to acquire fertilizers, and to do their business effectively.
She also assured the SDF that their relationship would continue to grow from strength to strength, noting that the aim was to improve the living conditions of the poor.
For his part, the acting Governor of LRR, Mr. Momodou Katim Touray expressed appreciation for the commitment and hard work Visaca had portrayed in the Lower River Region.
He added that they were able to secure this loan as a result of hard work and trust bestowed on them by the Social Development Fund. He also noted that Madina Sancha Visaca is among the most active Visaca's in the LRR.
Acting Governor Touray urged the villagers to continue their solidarity and hard work for the benefit of the region.
Also, speaking at the occasion, Mr. Alhagie Bunju Ceesay, the Regional Fund Officer of LRR, said that SDF is a project designed by the government to alleviate poverty in the
He noted that the project comprises three components, namely social services, micro-finance, and capacity building. He noted that Madina Sancha Visaca is the most outstanding Visaca in the LRR in terms of activeness, seriousness, and willingness to work. He also reminded the beneficiaries that "it is a loan and not a grant and thus it has to be paid no time".
He added that he has no fear in his mind that they would do business, as according to him, the D300, 000, which was initially given to them as a loan was paid on time.
He revealed that this loan is to be paid in a period of 15 months, including three months grace period.
The Micro Finance Officer of SDF, Alhagie Muhammed Sawaneh said the project is a part of
Mr. Sawaneh noted that they have job centres where youths can come and see what skills they have and connect them to their private institution.
He added that Madina Sancha is one of the best performing Visaca centres in terms of re-payment portfolio quality, and management quality in governance.
He then urged the beneficiaries to put the money to good use in order to enable them move ahead with the project.