By Aisha Tamba
The University of the Gambia Students Service Learning Association (UTG – SSLA) over the weekend observed its 9 year anniversary under the theme “Remembering the legacy of late Dr Saja Taal”.
The high level academic gathering was held at the law faculty auditorium and brought together participants from the association and the family of the late Dr Saja Taal.
Speaking at the gathering, Bintou S Conteh President of the UTG-SSLA and also a law student, said the association was born in 2009 when Dr Taal travelled with a group of 50 students on a country wide tour.
“During this trip, the students got to know their country more, as well as understand the development process and challenges,” she said.
She said this triggered Dr Taal, who was also inspired by Dr. John Meyer of Norwich University in Vermont, USA) to introduce the idea of service learning to the students.
“This is because he believed that as university students, we can contribute to solving most of society’s challenges by engaging in meaningful voluntary services,” she added.
After the tour, the newly formed Association concentrated on shaping its internal structures, and it was formally launched at the GOVI hall in the same year, she noted.
“The main aim of this association is to foster common understanding amongst its members and to promote working together to fulfill an overall objective of addressing issues having to do with community welfare by raising awareness and being a direct actor in bringing about change in the development of the nation through voluntary intervention in key areas,” she said.