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City of Banjul
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Swedish philanthropist relishing investing in Gambia

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By Omar Bah Academy for Academics is a Non-profit organisation based in Stockholm, Sweden designed to help Gambian students to fulfil their dreams of an academic degree and create an academic arena for them and sponsors to share and prosper. Speaking to The Standard at Palma Rima, Margareta Danelius founder and the Head of the Swedish delegation said the non-profit organisation was formed out of spiritual inspiration to respond to the academic needs of Gambian students. “This awarding of scholarships is an inspiration I had since working with Future in Our Hands 15 years back. We feel this will have enough to give out to our sponsored students at the UTG. That is why we decided to care and share with the young people of the Gambia. And the gesture will continue as far as we are concerned,” she assured. She added: “This sponsorship for Gambian students started years back, and was then called ‘Kololi-Gambia Sponsorship. At the time we were sponsoring only nursery and primary school children of less-privileged families, through one Marie Mendy Coker to help children with a poor background in their educational careers. “It is during that time we realised that there is the need to help the students of the University of The Gambia as well. Some of the issues that are considered before a scholarship is awarded to a student are the financial background, the scores [grades] of the individual and how willing the individual is to achieve a degree from the University of The Gambia.” She said they were very impressed during the recent seminar with their sponsored students on presentations, saying “this shows that our contribution is making great impacts and we were impress especially with their ambitions and driving forces”. Thorbjorn Larsson of Academy for Academics said their organisation chose the Gambia because they believe the young people have the context, the talent and the environment to achieve their dreams. Dr. Henrik Dahlstrand, an orthopaedic surgeon, who is also a sponsor to the organisation, said: “When Margareta told me about this initiative I was really impress and when I was told that a medical student is among the students who passed the interview, I feel honoured because I am a medical student myself and have not had the opportunity to give charity before. I felt the right moment has come for me to start it with Academy for Academics organisation. “Since I came to the Gambia I have realised that the country has great talents that if nurtured well, will have a great impact in the future. To be specific you have more smart medical students in the Gambia compared to Sweden.” Alagie Alamu, a beneficiary from the organisation, said: “I can finally go to bed, wake up in the morning, and go to school, without being worried about tuition fees. I am speechless! All I can say is thank you to them. I wish there was a word better than thank! I am so much grateful.”]]>

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