By Samsideen Ceesay
Salimatou Foundation for Education (SaFE), a right to education charitable foundation that is working to ensure children have access to quality, free, safe and affordable education has recently celebrated its one year anniversary at Child Protection (CPA) Secretariat in Fajara.
Speaking to the press, Muhammed Kebbeh, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of SaFE, said his organization promotes and advocates for the provision of free, affordable and equality education to all people in order to enable them contribute to the development of their societies.
He said the foundation was established on 11 November, 2015 and since then has embarked on series of community outreach programmes and notable among them is the school outreach to Manduar Primary School in the West Coast Region, in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day, wherein the students were sanitised on child marriage, sexual and reproductive health rights.
“We conducted another school outreach at Fufor Nursery School, in a village bordered with Cassamace, Senegal to commemorate the international day of the African child wherein we donated stationeries to the school children in order to enable them access quality education that we are advocating for.
He added that they did a community sensitization in Fufor on the importance of education and during the sensitization they were able to find out that they have only one Nursery School.
“We came back to greater Banjul area and reached out to people and went to offices to seek for donation. We were able to raise some funds and we used it to buy materials and donated them to the Fufur Nursery School. We also did an activity dubbed ‘Street Walk’ in which they picked up 55 children on the streets either begging or engaged in child labor and enrolled them in schools.”
Mr. Kebbeh said the only challenge his organization is faced with is lack of funds. He said he envisages that in the next five years Gambia will have total free education. He added that not only school fees and books for core subjects should be free but also the entire school process, ranging from learning materials, uniform and everything.
He said they are yearning for not only free education but also quality education because something that is free without quality is worthless. He called on his fellow youths to join them and contribute their quota in national development and while thanking individuals who have been supporting the foundation since its inception.
Fatima Jarju, the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator of SaFE , said the future plan of SaFE is to conduct weekend classes for their sponsored children, mentorship program and organize a national spelling bee in all the 7 regions of the Gambia.