By Olimatou Coker
Arambia Association, based in Span, has donated two 40-foot containers with items worth over 7.5 million dalasis to 14 institutions across the country.
The assorted items are meant to support the health sector, education and skills development and the arrival of the container marks the 5th consignment.
Some of the 14 institutions are Mingdaw SSS, Ndeban Clinic, Sukuta health center, Tanka Tanka psychiatric hospital, Farato health center, Basse hospital, Gambisara health center, Gambisara SSS, Yerobawol health center, Diabugu health center, Koina health center, Kularr health center and others.
Items donated included 20 writing boards, 30 hospital beds, 10 ECG machines for heart, 40 scanning machines, 4 refrigerators, 55 sewing machines, 100 tables, 35 wheelchairs, 200 gallons of hygiene liquid, second hand clothes, 42 mattresses, 45 boxes of shoes, toes, pads, 202 pieces of plywood, 117 computers, some machines for the woodwork students, 57 gallons of paint for schools, bicycles, 200 boxes of diapers for the elderly and more.
Enrique Cardiel Garijo, president of Arambia, said today they have three reasons to be very happy. The first reason is being here once again to continue helping in Gambia. “On this occasion, we bring two containers filled with health and educational supplies.”
He expressed gratitude to their friend Lamin Kaba, a member of Arambia Association in Gambia, who has been present since the inception of the association, and whose collaboration has been crucial for the success of all our projects. “Thank you very much, Lamin, for always being with us. I also want to thank the Honorable Sabally whom I have met on this occasion. He accompanied us to the interior of the country, showing us the challenges of the area he represents as a parliamentarian.”
President Cardiel Garijo added that his third reason for happiness is fulfilling a dream they have had since they started in 2019 – to help in the interior of the country. “And that dream has finally come true thanks to the Honorable Essa Conteh, whom I met on my first trip. He is aware of our enthusiasm to assist in the interior. In each of our trips, we’ve had meetings to understand the needs and convey the difficulty of traveling to the interior. His effort has been total and absolute in providing us with everything needed and being by our side at every moment.”
Kumba Kongira, the principal of Mingdaw Senior Secondary School, said these items donated to her school will go a long way in making the learning process smooth for the students and will also help ease some burden faced by the school.
She also reiterated the importance of the donated items in promoting skills education in The Gambia.
“About 15 sewing machines are also here, which will be of importance to the technical department, especially for the girls who are offering clothing and textile. Now clothing and textile are being offered up to grade 12 and are being examined at WASSCE. Another important material is the woodwork machines. When the students saw them they were very happy because they already knew them theoretically, practically now they are seeing them,” she explained.
Madam Kongira thanked the Arambia association for this wonderful gesture.
Landing Camara, Principal Nursing Officer at Sukuta Health Centre, expressed appreciation for the hospital beds, scanning machines and a host of other health materials donated to their health center.
“The medical materials that I have seen here this morning are of high quality that are needed in any modern health facility to operate functionally. I have seen a lot of scanning machines; updated scanning machines, modest scanning machines which are used by medical personnel or doctors to confirm their diagnosis, which are very important in a clinical setup.”
Lamin Kabba, CEO Star GSM and also a member, said this intervention at Mingdaw Senior Secondary School is among a host of beneficiaries receiving what was described as a magnificent gesture.
“The drive here is to enhance skills development in the schools with the Arambia Foundation, responding to TVET vocational training needs by delivering sewing machines, carpentry and welding equipment alongside other learning materials,” he said.
Bintou Gassama, deputy permanent secretary at MECCNAR, Jalimori Jobarteh, vice chair Conference of Principal Senior Secondary School, Hon. Essa Conteh, NAM of Jimara Constituency and Isatou Ndow, Principal of the Gambia College, are among a host of speakers who expressed immense gratitude to the donors.
DPS Gassama said this is not the first time they are doing such donations. “We come into contact with Arambia through Marisa and we really appreciate the support they have given us. We know that the government is doing a lot in every sector, but we know the government cannot do it alone. We need the support of other stakeholders.”
Madam Ndow said resources are important in teaching and learning. “It is because of resources that’s why we talk about quality education. Without teachers, we cannot talk about quality education and bringing in all these resources for all the various departments will go a long way in helping our quest for quality education”.