By Omar Bah Department of Community Development of the Gambia recently signed a Memorandum of |Understanding (MOU) with Helping Hand Foundation-VZW, a Belgium-based charitable foundation. Helping Hand Foundation are the initiators of the Antwerp Banjul Challenge, a traditional supporter of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace in the Gambia. The MOU, according to officials of both foundations is geared towards improving the lives of communities in the Gambia. Speaking shortly after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the director department of community development Buba Joof said the initiative is meant to mobilise efforts to help communities in the country to improve their lives and living standards. “This is to show our commitment and interest to pursue the common objectives that we have set for ourselves as a humanitarian foundation,” he said. The President Helping Hand Foundation-VZW, Cor de Bresser said the initiative started in the Gambia back in 2006 with the Jammeh Foundation. He said they were having an MOU with the Jammeh foundation then, but they decided to revoke the MOU in 2014. “We are optimistic that the MOU signed today with our Antwerp Banjul Challenge will go a long way in helping industrious people,” he said. He said their foundation has done a lot in supporting communities in the Gambia with boreholes, hospitals and schools. “The amount of auction we made over the years reaches over D20 million and we also donated 85 cars and 14 motorcycles. We also bring ambulances and school buses, for hospitals and schools,” he said. He said the foundation spending reaches to D2 million annually, “We are very happy to continue this trend with the Helping Hand Foundation-VZW; this a new start, our people in our country were scared of the situation in the past, but now we have no reason to fear”. The permanent secretary ministry of local government and lands Buba Sanyang said the primary function of the department of community development is to reach to the less privilege people in the society. “This is a big challenge in the sense that you have been trusted not only with responsibility but in changing people’s lives, you should live up to expectation,” he advice. He said the ministry will give its backing to the community development whenever their service is needed.]]>
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