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US Embassy distributes Ramadan gifts

Aug 23, 2010, 12:22 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

As part of its annual Ramadan gift to Muslim communities in The Gambia, the United States Embassy in Banjul last Friday distributed Ramadan gifts in the two peri-urban communities of Bantokunku and Sifoe.

The Ramadan gifts included small bags of rice, educational materials, including three cartons of stationery and three footballs.

The delegation comprising the charge d’affaires Cindy Cregg, Tula C. Orum, the new public affairs officer, Zachary Bailey, political and economic officer and Ebrima Jaw Manneh political and economic assistant and security cooperation coordinator.

It was also at the two communities to conduct an assessment in a bid to see how the embassy could also help them in the area of education.

Speaking at the Batokunku presentation, Cindy Cregg described Ramadan as a very important calendar event for Muslims all over the world, with America not an exception.

"It is in this regard that the US Embassy in Banjul comes together to donate small bags of rice to the needy in the holy month of Ramadan.

The embassy will see how best to help the village," Cindy said, adding that education is what the embassy encourages, adding that the embassy aims to help Gambians, especially in the area of education.

The village imam at Batokonku, Muhammad Lamin Keita Jatta, commended the US Embassy for their humanitarian gesture, which he described as timely. He noted that giving to the poor and needy in Ramadan is recommended in Islam, and further called on the US Embassy to help the village. As he put it, the village is in dire need of help in different forms.

The village head or alkalo, Abdou Jatta, also made similar comments, urging the US Embassy to assist them with cables to complete the electrification of their village, which he said, was started by a German philanthropist one Peter.

The delegation also visited the village nursery school, where the village heads also appealed for the reconstruction of the school, as it was first initiated by the CCF now Child Fund.

In response, Ms Gregg told them that the visit would avail them the opportunity to know the problems at the grassroots, and see how to address them.

At the Sifoe presentation, Ms Cregg briefed the village imam about their visit, saying that it was part of their work to visit villagers in order to get first-hand information about their problems, and the best way to address them.

Welcoming the delegation, the imam of the village, Khalifa Alhagie Momodou Kanteh, commended the US Embassy for the gesture, noting that US Embassy's visit to the village, and the donation of Ramadan gifts to the villagers, was happening for the first time, after when he assumed the mantle of Khalifa.

The iman assured the donors that the Ramadan gifts will serve the desired purpose, as it would reach the intended people.

The imam also prayed for the two leaders, Presidents Yahya Jammeh and Barrack Oboma, in the holy month of Ramadan.