By Olimatou Coker
Childfund International The Gambia through their gift in kind programe on Friday handed over three 40-foot containers of textbooks worth over $ 1,083,840.00 to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) to support children’s education across the country at a handing-over ceremony held at its country office in Kanifing.
The donation is meant to support the government in providing free, and quality education to all children.
These textbooks from Book for Africa is a non-governmental organization that has made its mission to collect, sort, and ship books, computers, tablets, and library materials to all countries in Africa. It provides sea containers of books to rural school libraries, orphanages, adult literacy programs, and community resource centers.
Book for Africa also strives to help create a culture of literacy and provides the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.
Book for Africa remains the largest shipper of donated school and library books on the African continent. Since 1988, it has shipped more than 54 million books in 55 countries on the African continent.
According to the Ambassador of Books for Africa “last year alone, Books for Africa shipped 3.1 million books, valued at more than $26.2 million, and 224 computers and e-readers containing more than 885,000 digital books, to 28 African countries.”
Speaking, Nfarama Dabo, ChildFund International The Gambia program and sponsorship director, said they have a strong belief that for them to be able to meet one of their co-intervention areas which is helping children to be educated and confident, they must work with the education sector. “As an NGO, of course we complement governments efforts in making sure that what they plan for the children is what is realized”.
“We will continue to work with different partners outside The Gambia so that we are able to mobilize different resources and different materials to enhance our programs in The Gambia,” he said
Musu Kuta Komma, ChildFund International The Gambia country director, said the books are selected in close consultation with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education especially the participation of region2.
“The timing for these books is perfect here because we know the schools will be closing very soon and as I mentioned before, community engagement in the education of the children is what we promote at Child Fund here.”
Noting that these books will be distributed to schools and some will go to communities so that children during the holiday will develop the habit of reading but will be assisted by community guides and teachers.
Madam Komma Bah added that through their gift-in-kind program they believe that education is meant to be a builder and the best social elevator anyone can think of. She said they are going to monitor how these books are used.
Lamin Fatajo, regional director Region2, said the donation is a very significant contribution to education.
Fatajo, on behalf of MoBSE, thanked Child Fund and its partners for their laudable effort and for doing this for the sector