US embassy gives over D400,000 to communities
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The US embassy in Banjul, yesterday presented a total amount of four hundred and twenty three thousand, seven hundred and forty five dalasis, to the three communities under the Ambassador’s Self Help Program, at a presentation ceremony held at the premises of the embassy on Kairaba Avenue.
The three beneficiary communities are: Apart village in Foni, Sinchu Gundo village in Central River Region and the Foundation for the Disabled People. This program, according to officials, has continued to impact positively on the lives of local communities in enhancing their income generating capacity, production capabilities and creating employment opportunities for many Gambians.
The Ambassador’s Special Help Fund was established in 1966 in Malawi, as a way to address the urgent development needs of the people at the community levels and also to help them invest in the economic growth and development of their countries. From the year 2000 to 2007, the US government funded 110 self-help development projects which amounted to a total sum of US$754,100.
Speaking at the ceremony, Barry L Wells, the United States ambassador to The Gambia, said the funds are to support the projects in well construction, garden fencing and purchasing of materials for the production of wheelchairs. According to Ambassador Wells, this year the embassy, under the program, is supporting seven organisations to a tune of one million dalasis. He revealed that they are expecting more funds for the remaining four organisations.
He then reiterated that it is the US government’s objective to help the people of The Gambia to develop their communities under this partnership agreement. He added that they also have several other development programs that complement the Ambassador’s Special Help Program, such as the Democracy in Human Rights Fund, the Ambassador’s Girls’ Scholarship Fund and the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, all geared towards helping the social and economic development of The Gambian people.
The US diplomat then urged the beneficiaries to work diligently on their projects to ensure that they recognise the great contribution they would make to the social and economic growth of their individual communities. Other speakers at the ceremony included Tashawna Bethea, Political, and Economic Affairs officer at the US Embassy and Batch Kandeh, headmaster of Sinchu Gundo Lower Basic School, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries. The ceremony was chaired by Janko Fofana, program co-ordinator at the US embassy, Banjul.
Author: by Musa Ndow