Erase Foundation has been active in The Gambia since 2005 and has tasked itself with the refurbishment and construction of learning and interactive centres in the country. It funded the Sailema Pre-Nursery School in Sukuta and built Sotokoi Nursey School in Brufut. The foundation currently has six containers containing office furniture and learning materials for Gambian school children.
Speaking during the handing over-ceremony of the centre, British-Jamaican Alwyn Simpson said: “I am here to do something for the benefit of this community. The most important thing for me is that this centre serves the whole community, not just part of the community. I want to see this community centre bring unity. I do not want it to bring division. Nothing would please me more than to come back here whenever I am here and see that every unit is functioning and the next generation of the people can benefit from it. All I am saying is look after it for yourselves and the next generation and the next generation.”
Simpson, an employee of English Area Councils, said his foundation was born out of the commitment to lend a helping hand to the local community. “We always said if you are going to do something for the community, then it is about empowering because that is what our communities lack – empowerment. How could we do that? We could provide the resources. The building is here and it is fine. Now the villagers have to use it for the benefit of themselves. The community feels empowered now.”
He said his organisation will keep a close eye on the developments of the Village Development Commitee (VDC) in maintaining and managing the centre. According to Simpson, his organisation has invested around 25,000 pounds sterling in putting up the amenity.
The alkalo of Marakissa, Sadibou Colley, described Erase Foundation’s intervention as timely and satisfactory.
He extolled Simpson and the Erase Foundation for “a job well-accomplished”.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Kaddy Bah-Sidibeh of the Erase Foundation, Marakissa VDC chairman Lamin Camara and Assan Manneh of the project construction team.
By Alagie Manneh