Smile African Orphans, a charity established in The Gambia and the US, recently organised a Feed the Orphans programme at an orphanage in the village of Wullingkama near Brufut.
The event, attended by government officials and social workers witnessed the handing over to the orphanage of education materials, clothing and food items.
Through SAO’s solicitation, President Adama Barrow also donated 20 bags of rice
In her keynote speech, the founder and CEO of SAO, Njaimeh Bah expressed her organisation’s commitment to improving the lives of orphans and underprivileged children.
She said: “The situation of orphans and vulnerable children is an issue of concern. Every indication points to rising population and immense suffering of orphans due to political, economic and social factors.
“The fact that these children do not have protection exposes them to abuse and exploitation. Human trafficking, child labour and child sexual exploitation are reported to be high in The Gambia. Orphans are soft targets. These children are often malnourished and are denied access to such basic needs as proper health care, education, shelter and nutrition.”
She thanked President Barrow and his government for the support while hailing the “steadfastness” of the orphans at the orphanage and their guardians.
Dodou Sano, an adviser to President Barrow, reiterated the government’s commitment towards the wellbeing and empowerment of all children, including orphans. He thanked SAO for the foresight and affirmed the continuous support and collaboration of the presidency.
Speaking earlier, the Director of the Department of Social Welfare, said his agency is willing to partner with charities like SAO towards addressing children’s issues.
Others speakers were Wurra Bah, who deputised for KMC mayor Talib Bensouda, and Mr Njundu Drammeh, national coordinator of the Child Protection Alliance (CPA).