By Olimatou Coker
The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in partnership with the Department of Community Development and the Directorate of Social Welfare commenced an enrollment initiative for vulnerable households in the west coast region as part of the Gambia social safety net project which among others disburses cash amounts to poor families.
The Nafa program is a combination of cash transfer and social and behavioural change communication that is being implemented in 20 districts across the country.
As part of the preparations for the rollout, a common validation of the beneficiary list has been completed with the implementing partners enrolling the beneficiary households into the program by taking their details and photos.
Speaking at one of the enrolment programs in Kanjabena Foni Berefet, Oumie Touray, from the Department of Community Development, stated that the project is envisioned to benefit and improve the social conditions of over 15,000 households across the country.
Madam Touray who described the project as a social uplift for extreme poor families, explained that cash support will be provided to the beneficiaries for a period of one year and six months.
“Helping 15,606 extremely poor households for 1year 6months is a great effort and is really a lot for the Gambian population,” Touray added.
Ida Sanyang, a beneficiary expressed delight for being part of the project saying that this will really help them and their families as well as support the upbringing of their children and their education.
Another beneficiary Nuha Badije, a recipient hailed Nana and its partners for the support calling it a timely intervention.
“I am personally going to use some part of the money to buy ruminants and upkeep them to be able to help my children’s education in the near future.” Badjie said.
Also speaking in Sintet Village, Haruna Badije, regional social welfare officer West Coast Region thanked the communities and their cooperating with the exercise.
Team members oriented
The enrolment was preceded by a daylong orientation for members of the multi disciplinary facilitation teams to enhance their knowledge and skills on the digital registration of beneficiaries.
The orientation was aimed at enabling members of the multi disciplinary Facilitation teams to be on the same wavelength as they set off the registration of vulnerable families.
The director of social welfare Jankoba Jabbie said the social safety net project has come to alleviate the vulnerability of the poorest of the poor saying the cash transfer given to the beneficiaries would help move them from point A to point B.
Alieu Kujabi, program manager NaNA, said the orientation is meant to avail participants a common understanding of what they will be doing in the field in the next few days.
Fatou Gibba, director department of community development, urged the teams to be more vigilant and more consistent in their approaches.