Toastmasters International visits Gambia

Jun 29, 2021, 10:51 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Aminata Keita, District 94 director and Gael Ahoomey-Zunu, District 94 Club Growth director are currently on a visit to The Gambia to meet their members -The Gambia Elite toastmasters club in order to explore the potential for growth in The Gambia.

In an interview with Aminata Keita, she explained that Toastmasters is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. She added that the organisation was founded by Dr. Ralph Smedley in 1924 in Santa Ana, California, USA. 

“The total number of clubs exceeds 16, 800, with a membership of more than 358, 000 in 143 countries across the globe. At the local club level, Toastmasters mission is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. The organisation operates under four international core values of integrity, respect, service and excellence.”

She further indicated that one of the reasons of the visit was to build awareness around the opportunity and the benefit of toastmasters for the people in the country, while stating that they had the opportunity to visit government and private sector companies to engage staff and highlight the value of toastmasters international.

Mr. Gael Ahoomey-Zunu for his part, highlighted the opportunities of the organisation, saying one can benefit in the areas of public speaking skills, self-confidence and self- awareness, a competitive advantage in the workplace; receive regular and constructive feedback from peers with similar interests as you; better leadership skills among others.  

Dr. Ismail D. Badjie, The Gambia Elite Toastmasters in-coming president also stated that The Gambia has a tremendous opportunity to leverage toastmasters as a leadership development incubator, allowing citizens from all walks of life to improve on their communication skills.

“This could be a significant value-adding proposition in both the public and private sector. Gambia Elite Toastmasters as a club has been around since June 2016 and has led to the development of dozens of members committed to honing in on oratorical skills applicable in the real world. It is our hope that the same level of commitment and enthusiasm can be transferred to interested parties to join our club to start additional clubs throughout the country."

He said Toastmasters International has tremendous resources available online at www.toastmasters.org, adding the local club has held virtual meetings since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Badjie reiterated that each club has a VP of membership to help facilitate interest and bring on board new members, they can be contacted via the website Gambia Elite Toastmasters.

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