In response to the mobility challenges confronting 29-year-old Mariama Sonko, the Christian Panorama Organisation and a cross section of Gambians in the diaspora donated a consignment of food, mobility and cash support to her family in an emotional handing over ceremony in Essau.
The appeal launched by concerned Gambians at home and abroad is meant to mobilise funds to help Mariama with mobility aid as well as support her realise dreams of a comfortable dignified life.
It comes after a video of her surfaces on social media narrating how she has been battling with mobility and other life haunting challenges which shattered her dreams.
A team comprising veteran broadcaster Abdou- Aziz Willan and the chairman of the Essau village development committee and coordinator of the initiative Pa Modou Sarr delivered wheel chairs, food items and cash to the family on Friday.
The donated food stuff include bags of rice, sugar, onion, potato, cooking oil, tomatoes, detergents among others.
Mr. Willan said he learned about Mariama’s predicaments in an emotional posting which brought tears to his eyes and decided to reach out to the initiative through Mr. Sarr and bid to solicit support for Mariama and her family.
He thanked the Christian Panorama and other benefactors who preferred anonymity for the timely gesture and overwhelming solidarity.
According to him, the gesture is just the beginning of more to come since a lot of good will ambassadors both home and abroad have been highly receptive and pledged to support the initiative, including the ministry of basic and secondary education.
“We are also working on opening an account at the Trust Bank as part of our resolve in furthering this initiative to help improve the overall living condition of Mariama including her housing and provision of special needs critical to persons with special needs.”
“We are calling on President Adama Barrow, the First Lady, cabinet ministers, lawmakers, Women’s Bureau, Taf Africa Global, GCCI, GPA, Africell, Gamcel, banks and NGOs as well as other national bodies and individuals to support this initiative because this is a national and humanitarian call and not politics,” he added.
Coordinator of the initiative Pa Modou Sarr, commended Mr. Willan for his enthusiasm and selfless humanitarian commitment to partner them in reaching immeasurable support to Mariama and family.
Sarr said the first aim of the initiative which seeks for the provision of a wheel chair has received an overwhelming solidarity with about 10 wheel chairs already donated, “now our new direction is to solicit an inclusive relief package that will accord Mariama with decent living that include housing/shelter, health care, education and business.”
He thanked Sai Touray who launched the initiative, the Zion Foundation and other partners for the support.
Narrating her story, Mariama said she made the call to alleviate the decades of sufferings of her single mother who toils day and night singly taking charge of her amid much poverty.
“She has been taking care of me all my life and I could not do anything for myself. I am a graduate; I believe it is time for me to start something in life but I could not do it without help. Before today I did not have a wheel chair to commute, sometimes I insects would bite all my body and I would sustain brushes and cuts if I try to scroll,” she emotionally narrated.
She pleaded for more assistance to help her start a small business as well as further her education.
Other speakers including Binta Mbaye, her mother and Pa Malick Sarr thanked the organisers for identifying with the less fortunate in what they termed as timely donation.