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US Embassy Disburses Over D1m

Sep 7, 2009, 7:06 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The United States Embassy in Banjul last Thursday September 3rd 2009, disbursed over D1.7 million for the commencement of Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF), at a signing ceremony held at the Embassy's premises, along

Kairaba Avenue

Addressing the beneficiaries, the US Ambassador to the Gambia Barry Wells, said the DHRF provides assistance through small grants to local civil society and community-based organisations (CBOS).

According to him, the number of the recipients is small, noting that those that are being funded have tremendous impacts on social development, quality of life and sustainability in their respective communities.

The DHRF grant, he added, support short-term, highly targeted activities with an emphasis on the change in support of human rights and democratic institutions.

US Diplomat noted that in the past years he has visited some of the villages and communities which were previous recipients of the grants, saying that he has seen the difference the projects can make on the life of Gambians. To this end, he said they have decided to fund five more projects under DHRF initiative.

According to Barry Wells, D334, 800 is awarded to the Kerewan Community Radio to develop another radio station at Barra under the management of NBC Radio Management.

He revealed that Kerewan Community Radio is a rural radio station serving the people of North Bank Region, adding that due to the lack of English Language skills, many people in the region depend on the radio broadcast in the local languages for information and entertainment. This, he went on, will provide important services to non-English speakers and will offer programming on topics, such as civil duties, human rights, and peace- building.

He said D386, 100 is awarded to the National Council for Civil Education to sensitise the public on government decentralisations strategy with the aim of empowering local communities to participate in their own development initiatives.

Mr. Wells said GPU is also benefitingD529, 200, to enhance institutional capacity to provide freedom of information, while the Network of Human Rights Journalist received D378, 000 for the establishment of a National Information Resource Centre.

According to him, Aid the Children Network will benefit from D62, 100 for the publication of 1000 booklet to prevent the trafficking of children.

For his part, the Programme Co-ordinator, Janko Fofana said the project would go a long way towards promoting democracy and human right issues. He urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the project.