I write to thank your reporters for the article printed in page 4 of your Friday 11th April edition. I fully agree with all the remarks made by all the speakers with regard to Mr Momodou Turo Darboe and his organisation, Vision Development Foundation. I especially noted the comments made by the boss of The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, Mr Ousman Yarbo.
I totally agree with Mr Yarbo that His Excellency, the President, Sheikh Professor, Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, should confer the highest Gambian national order on Mr [Momodou] Turo Darboe.
I am not writing this because I have ever received anything from Mr Darboe. I thank Allah that I am self-sufficient when it comes to the needs of myself and my family. In fact I have never met this [Momodou] Turo Darboe. However, I have neighbours here in Fajikunda who depended on the largesse of Mr Darboe throughout the whole of 2013 Ramadan. Every day he gave them rice, sugar and so forth as one of the speakers mentioned in your newspaper article. Without his help, I am not saying that they would have died of hunger, but they would have suffered a lot. How many more families did Mr Darboe and his foundation help during and even before and after Ramadan?
Some people might say he is helping people to get fame and whatever, but I am saying, if it is just fame he is looking for, he could give just a D100,000 to Jaliba Kuyateh like …..  do, and he will compose a great song and everyone will hear of his name from here to America.
I agree with Mr Manta Jallow when your reporter quoted him as saying that what Mr Darboe does should be publicised for the simple reason that some other person might hear of it and say, ‘let me do like [Momodou] Turo Darboe is doing’.
In fact, how many rich people are in this country? If all of them act like Mr Darboe, then there will be no poverty in The Gambia. In fact, one of the reasons why HE [President Jammeh] is so popular, is because he shares his wealth with Gambians and even non-Gambians. This is what Islam and all the good religions in the world teach.
Therefore, like Mr Yarbo of Tango, I am telling His Excellency, the President, Sheikh Professor, Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, and his entire government that they should recognise the great work being done by Mr Momodou Turo Darboe and Vision Development Foundation.
Landing MS Jammeh
We have to protect women and children in conflicts
The unfortunate predicament of women and children in conflict zones prompted me to write this letter in your paper to show to the world how horrendously women and children suffer in conflict situations. It is obvious that women and children are the most susceptible ones in times of conflict and as a result they become subjected to gross violation of human rights.
The war that raged in Bosnia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the DRC and Darfur made the military logic of mass rape undeniable. In these conflicts, women and children were subjected to rape by rebel gangs and some terrible individuals.
In a report delivered at the 2008 parliamentary hearings at the United Nations, an average of 40 women were reportedly raped daily in South Kivu, DRC and between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped during the war conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s. In Sierra Leone, between 50,000 and 64,000 internally displaced women suffered sexual assault at the hands of combatants, while the genocide in Rwanda recorded that about 500,000 women were raped during the 100 days of conflict. This is just appalling.
Furthermore, the situation continues even in recent conflicts. The alarming nutritutional status of children in South Sudan is of serious concern. A total of 241 incidents of grave child rights violations were reported under the monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM). Aid agency Save the Children, warned that more than 100,000 children faced sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups in the country.
As the Central African Republic is also crippled by instability and chaos as a result of sectarian violence, rape against women and children continue to gain attention. There is widespread recruitment of child soldiers.
Now, the role of the international community comes into play. The African Union must take the lead in bringing all culprits to justice but it should first take measures that will be geared towards protecting women and other vulnerable groups. The United Nations must equally be involved in this endeavour so as to fully protect the rights and privileges of children and women. Governments and all other relevant stakeholders must take this a duty as women are our mothers and children are our future leaders and change makers.