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French NGO donates medical equipment to Gambia

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By Oumie Bojang

Echange Gambie Limousine Sante and Education (EGALISE), a charitable organisation based in France, in partnership with the Abubakary Jawara Foundation, has donated medical equipment and other materials worth over 100,000 Euros to The Gambia. The equipment donated through the Abubakary Jawara Foundation will be distributed to hospitals, clinics, and communities across the country. The donated equipment and materials include; 56 electric beds, wheelchairs, 250 computers, books, and scanners, among others.

The donation was facilitated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mamadou Tangara, who was one of the pioneers of the twenty-year-old humanitarian intervention while he was studying in France.

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The yearly intervention has benefited several hospitals, clinics, and individuals across the country.

Addressing the presentation on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mamadou Tangara disclosed that the relationship between The Gambia and the NGO started several years ago, and since then the donations have been coordinated by the likes of Alagie Ceesay (chief protocol), Ousman Badjie, Josehp Njie, Juka Jabang, the late VP Alieu Badara Joof, Kinza Jawara, Dawda Jallow (AG and Minister of Justice) and many others.

“It started with the LIONS’ Club, but even in France, the action became so popular that they decided to create an association called EGALISE, and immediately they started getting many memberships from Haute-Vienne and all the surrounding cities in the centre of France. I remember as a student, every Friday the president of the association Dr Serge Thevenot, would go and talk about The Gambia, and I would be going with him to sensitise people,” he said.

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Minister Tangara said the NGO and the community of Haute-Vienne are so enthusiastic about helping the Gambia.

“I want to thank the authorities because even under the former regime, there has been no interference in the way the equipment are distributed, and the EGALISE members, when they come here, are responsible for everything so that they remain independent,” he said. He said the only condition they have is that the equipment reach the beneficiaries. He thanked the Jawara Foundation for financing the shipment of one of the containers and the distributions across the country.

A representative of EGALISE, Saddibou Badjie, commended Minister Tangara for being among the pioneers of the annual donation.

“This demonstrates how much he loves this country and its people,” he said.

He said since 2003, the NGO has at least sent, every year, two containers or more of medical equipment to The Gambia uninterrupted.

“This year, we have received three containers of high-quality medical equipment and other materials,” he said.

He said the NGO has also been intervening in the areas of education and agriculture.

“It is one of the NGOs that started supporting gardeners and sheep breeders,” he said.

Badjie said one of the containers was donated to SOS Children Village, while the remaining two will be distributed among the rest of the beneficiaries.

The spokesperson of the Abubakary Jawara Foundation, Yusupha Jawara, said the foundation was established to support needy Gambians. “We are glad to be entrusted by EGALISE to distribute the equipment,” he said. He said the equipment will be distributed among hospitals, clinics, and communities in Gambisara, Bansang, Kartong, New Jeshwang, Ebo Town, and others.

Jawara assured the donors that the equipment would reach all the beneficiaries.

The SOS national director, Jean-Pierre Kouamin, thanked EGALISE for the support and assured them that the materials would be properly utilised. He said the village needs support because it doesn’t have the capacity to do everything that is required.

The French NGO, formed by volunteers from the small town of Bellac in Haute-Vienne, has initiated programmes to support The Gambia in the areas of health, education, and development.

The group periodically travels to Banjul to evaluate its projects, donations, and possible new interventions.

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