By Omar Bah
Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) on Monday 2 October 2017 supported 17 students of the families of alleged human rights violations in The Gambia with school fees, amounting to D70, 000.
The students: 4 from primary school each received D3,000, 7 from junior school received D4, 000 each, 5 from senior secondary school students received each D5, 000, while a vocational student also received D5, 000.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Sheriff M. Kijera, Vice- Chairman of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations disclosed that they received financial aid from BokaLoho, a Swedish-based organisation through Ida Marita.
He said Ida Marita was very much concerned and has a big heart for The Gambia, as well as victims and their families.
He added that the package was initially meant to support orphans, but they decided to extend the support to families of needy victims.
Mr Kijera said they are yet to receive any support from the government or any other organisation for an office, adding that it was the government’s responsibility to support every victim’s family.
According to him, they would continue to advocate for victims and their families to ensure that government takes its responsibility.
He disclosed that there were victims, who needed medical support and in April the Turkish Embassy in Banjul offered 9 free medical programmes to them, but unfortunately one of them passed away.
He added that they should facilitate their air tickets and the Gambia Ports Authority has pledged to pay for 4 air tickets.
He appealed to the government to support the victims committee with the remaining 4 air tickets, while thanking the Ministry of Youth and Sports for writing the distributed letters.
They have also identified 25 victims who were offered free treatment in Senegal, he said, adding that Ms Marita was tirelessly working on facilitating their transportation, living expenses and feeding expenditure.
He thanked Ida for her foresight and support and Dr. Janneh for providing them with an office space.
Meanwhile, the Adviser to Victims Center, Amadou Scattred Janneh said meeting the victims and their families, as well as people who sacrificed for the country should be more of a priority to the government than even meeting politicians, investors or activists.
He said some have lost their lives, properties, businesses, and others beaten to the extent that they have now become unproductive, while others fled the country, all in the fight for a change.
He also thanked the donors and then urged the victims to be patient as there is something bigger to come in the future.
Beneficiaries, who commended the donor and the centre, said they could not pay them but recognise and appreciate their efforts.