Mar 7, 2017, 1:33 PM
In a statement sent to The Point newspaper, VSO International said it has made “the difficult decision” to close its Gambian operations, after more than 50 years of operations in the country.
The decision is necessary in order “to become more strategic and effective” in its future mission, the statement said.
In the statement, Donné Cameron, VSO International’s director for Africa, said: “VSO International is committed to working where we can make the biggest impact in fighting poverty. Out of every ten Gambians, one has been taught by a VSO International Volunteer, so we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
“It was a very hard decision to leave this country, but we believe the time is right for us to end our work in The Gambia. We have left a strong legacy and we know that our partners will continue to fight the root causes of poverty.
“We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the people, partners and Government of The Gambia and thank them for all their support in ensuring that our beneficiaries got the maximum impact from VSO’s programmes.”
VSO International has operated in The Gambia since 1960 and has since supported many health, education and sustainable livelihood projects such as the ‘MoBSE-VSO National Volunteer Teachers Programme’.
This particular programme gives disadvantaged students from rural areas access to maths and science and the ‘National Poverty Reduction Programme’ which trains hundreds of farmers in groundnut production.
To date, VSO has placed over 2,000 volunteers in The Gambia who have created lasting change in the lives of many Gambians.