By Olimatou Coker & Maimuna Fatty
GAMCOTRAP in collaboration with SCI-Sida CSO project recently launched a nation-wide distribution of 10,000 face masks for children across the country in support of government’s efforts to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking during the launching at the office of the mayor of KMC, Bintou HK Fatty, director Department of Children’s Affairs, said as the virus continues to spread across the world,” we are all facing multiple stresses including physical, psychosocial health risk, low income as a result of business closure, family confinement, isolation and economic vulnerability amongst others. With all these, our children continue to bear the brunt, with schools being closed for quite a while now”.
Fatty praised the initiative as it intends to protect the wellbeing of children in the quest to fight the pandemic.
“This initiative targeting to save children from the impact of coronavirus is not only an agenda for action but a smart investment. For without urgent action, this health crisis will become a child right crisis, causing disruption to society, with heavy impact on children’s safety and learning,” she explained.
She said the efforts of CSOs in complementing the efforts of government by providing 10,000 masks across the country will go a long way in saving the children from contracting the corona virus.
“This initiative of the ministry is in line with both national and international conventions geared towards protecting the rights of children and creating a safe space for their survival and development.”
Ousman Bah, deputy mayor of KMC, talked about how the pandemic has hit the world and has not left any stone unturned which means it doesn’t distinguish young and baby.
He made mention of how they sometimes forget the young ones, forgetting that the children are the ones that need nurture for their tomorrow.
He further stated that this will support the initiative that the Mayor launched that is 50, 000 face masks for the community of KMC.
Princess A. Munahot, Exective Director of Gamcotrap, said the organisation protects the rights of women and children in The Gambia.
“It has been existing for more than three decades and has been spearheading the abandonment of harmful practices, women and children empowerment, women and children education, preservation of women and children’s rights ranging from physical, psychological, sexual and reproductive health rights to all the legal and fundamental rights that protect the vulnerable in our society.”
Director Munahot added that usually when pandemic and other crises occur the most vulnerable are affected and there is a tendency that children are overloaded. “Hence these masks being distributed to 10,000 Gambian children, ages from 5_18 is surely for their protection”.
She highlighted that the masks are reversible, meaning you can wear both sides, it is hundred percent cotton too. She further mentioned that the masks will be distributed to the seven regions in The Gambia.
Naiah Ayeni, the youth ambassador of Gamcotrap, explained that children they are the most vulnerable in society. “We are in the coronavirus pandemic and this has taken the lives of many”.
She further demonstrated on how to wear the face mask and how to remove it.
Also speaking, Ousman Touray, expressed delight and thanked GAMCOTRAP and partners for providing the face masks.