The founder of Smile African Orphans (SAO), Njemeh Bah, recently paid a courtesy call on Senegalese ambassador to the United States, Babacar Diagne, at his DC office on M Street.
Ms Bah, also the CEO of the newly founded Seattle-based charity briefed Ambassador Diagne on her personal life story that inspired the mission of her organization in an engaging meeting.
The meeting was also witnessed by the first counselor in charge of Education and Culture Madam at the Senegalese Embassy, Josephine Gueye Ndoye.
She informed the ambassador and her team that the goal of SAO is to contribute to helping young African orphans and needy women through “child rescue programs and creating a safe haven for new born babies, especially those being dumped or abandoned on the streets due to the climate of fear of being judged or lack of family support.”
Expressing gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to her, Ms Bah emphasized the importance of support from host African governments, particularly in Senegal and The Gambia, the two neighboring countries where SAO will be primarily operating.
“We will need support for smooth clearing of donation items at entry ports for timely delivery to needy children and in propping up initiatives that serve our purpose,” she said, adding that it is their plan to also promote the value of education and keeping vulnerable kids off the streets by helping them integrate into public schools.
Ms Bah used the meeting to send passionate appeal to the public for support and donations in order to advance the goals of SAO.
In his response, elated Ambassador Diagne commended SAO founder for her foresight and vision for orphans. He also thanked her on behalf of the Senegalese government for impacting many young lives barely two months after its creation. Moved by these accomplishments, Ambassador Diagne assured SAO of his office’s readiness to render all the support necessary in providing safe learning environment and development of young orphans and needy women. “These initiatives are needed in our communities and very much welcomed by my government because not only does it help the targeted beneficiaries but complements the government’s efforts in critical social sectors.
We can’t do everything alone as a government but with the help of citizens like you and others, we can collectively advance our goals as a country,” said Ambassador Diagne.
Also commending Ms Bah for her courage, the embassy’s first counselor Gueye Ndoye, added: “As a woman, I am impressed and moved by your life story and how far you have come as a young woman who overcame so many obstacles. Yet you still remain strong and turned into a role model for our country. Your cause is worthy and noble. We are so proud of you.”
SAO CEO Bah gifted Ambassador Diagne with T-shirt, SAO customized mug, and a certificate of appreciation.