By Saidou Baldeh
Marly Foundation through Rohey Malick Lowe, the Mayor of Banjul over the weekend donated more than two hundred and ninety-two thousand dalasis (D291,660) to two persons with disabilities, who are natives of Essau village in lower Nuimi Constituency.
Marly Foudation is a charitable organisation which concentrates on people with disabilities.
The Foundation identifies people with down syndrome and people who are born with special needs and supports them in terms of treatment both at home and oversea, plus financial supports and provides them with working aid.
Mariama Sonko, 30, a physically challenged grade 12 graduate, received a token of D249,500 whilst Jibbie received D42,160.
In addition, a Gambian based in the UK is going to sponsor Jibbie’s entire schooling and already a brand new wheelchair has been shipped for her. A brand new mobile phone has also been bought for her.
Jibbie is a teenager who uses a stick to walk as she finds it difficult to walk and it takes her hours before she reaches school.
The charity also donated a Zimmer frame to a physically challenged man in Essau through the National Assembly member for Lower Niumi.
The Foundation also raised over £10,000 for one Mariama Njie, aged 5, who sustained third degree burns.
The Foundation paid her flight ticket to Germany for treatment where she is receiving treatment.
Mariama Sonko lives with her younger brother and mother in the northern part of the Gambia in a village called Essau.
But being handicap does not make her any less amazing as she could do all the household chores and also has a small business where she sells biscuits and candies.
She expressed happiness and gratitude over the kind gesture.
She said: “I want to be independent by putting up my own business to be able to help myself and my family as I don’t want to be depending on anyone”.
She seized the opportunity to thank the donors for coming to her aid.
Binta Mbaye, Mariama’s mum, lamented that it’s difficult having a person with disabilities, but she put her faith in Allah.
“Mariama is a very special child, everybody likes her since when she was in the nursery school till date. And everywhere I go with her people appreciate her,” she said.
Mrs Mbaye called on everyone to come to their aid and help mariama in every little way they can.
Narrating the success stories of the foundation, Kexx Saneh, representative of Marly Foundation in The Gambia informed the gathering that they have registered more than 20 successful cases.
“The Foundation also ventures into helping people who are sick and need overseas treatment but their families cannot afford to pay their medical bills. We have success stories from India and Germany,” Kexx said.
“Mariama’s story was brought to our attention by a lady who stays in Germany and we decided to create a GoFundMe campaign for her and with the support of Gambians and non-Gambians, we were able to raise 249,500 dalasi and today we are here to handover the money through Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe as she is somebody who champions the empowerment of women,” Kexx added.
“Since The Gambia does not have any social service that can provide amenities for people that are born with special needs, we have a collective responsibility to see that people with special needs are supported to live comfortable in the society.
“I’m optimistic that the money will be invested into something that will pay devident in the feeding and upbringing of her family. I emphasized to Mariama and the family to open a business so she won’t rely on anyone for financial support,” Kexx said.