Jun 10, 2010, 5:00 PM
Soroptimist International of Banjul Friday observed World Literacy Day on the theme: “Literacy for sustainable development”, at a ceremony held at its conference hall in Kanifing.
The event also provided members the opportunity to discuss at length the effects of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, and the world at large.
Soroptimist International of Banjul was established and chartered in The Gambia in 1987 as a charitable organisation working for the development of women and girls.
Soroptimist International is a vibrant dynamic organisation for today’s professional and businesswomen, and its mission is to inspire action and create opportunity to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.
Speaking at the gathering, Elizabeth Jawo-Njie, President of Soroptimist International of Banjul, said the day was set aside by the organisation to celebrate World Literacy Day, as well as bring topics up for sustainable development.
Mrs Jawo-Njie highlighted the importance of the day, particularly for girls and women as the organisation works for the development of women and girls.
She further described the forum as very important, as they discussed about sustainable literacy for development, and about the effects and prevention of Ebola in the country.
The organisation’s president said that as a charitable organization, they intend to be organising such programmes, and to continue working for the development of girls including students.
She was happy that most of the attendees at the forum were students.
She advised students to take their education seriously, adding that been a literate in everything you do is very important.
Her organisation would continue organising this kind of programme to be engaging the young people, especially the girls, she promised.
The horticulture manager at the Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project, Mawdo Sey, spoke of the importance of the forum, adding that literacy is important to men, women, boys and girls.
He pointed out that nowadays one cannot have a good job without been literate, as literacy deals with both language and writing.
Literacy is very important for both the development of boys and girls, as they would be future leaders, he said.
Studying horticulture as a field is as important as studying any other field for development; the important thing is to study something that would be for the sustainable development of the country, Sey added.
Sey advised the students to continue attending this kind of activity organised by any organization, to use it as a tool to develop themselves and their future.
Rohey Njie of the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education spoke about the danger and preventive measures of Ebola.
She described Ebola as a deadly disease that is now a threat globally, noting that ever since the outbreak of the deadly virus in the sub-region, it has resulted in many deaths in neighboring countries.
The national Health authorities and the directorate have been intensifying efforts to avert any prevalence of the disease in the country, she added.
Though there are no cases of Ebola in the country yet, The Gambia has strengthened national surveillance, and adopted other preventive and response mechanisms to meet any challenge, she continued.
Sensitisation is one of the mechanisms the health authorities are using to create awareness, and to prevent the disease from hitting Gambia’s borders.
Ms Njie called on the students to use the 1025 EBOLA hotline to report any suspected cases or ask for clarification concerning Ebola.
The former president of Soroptimist International of Banjul, Ndella Faye-Colley, also advised people to be attending such programmes so as to be enlightened and develop themselves.
She described the gathering as very important, as all the presenters enlightened everyone who was present at the forum.
She thanked the presenters for their wonderful presentations, and urged the students and parents to pass on the message gathered during the forum to their colleagues and friends.