By Hamadi Vincent Bah, Denmark
Mr. Hamadi Bah fondly Vincent, a Board member and Chairman of the Danish-Gambia Friendship Society (DGFS), also known as Gambia’s Venner, is based in Denmark and hails from Sintet, The Gambia. Vincent is greatly involved in nation development through the DGFS, and has been working with many local communities to better their standard of living. Vincent recently made to a trip to the Gambia and shares with Gambians and the international community some of his achievements.
The Danish Gambia Friendship Association better known as Gambia’s Venner is a charitable organization based in the Denmark geared towards helping the people of Gambia in capacity building through complementing government services in education.
The organization under the chairmanship of Mr. Hamadi Vincent Bah is involved in the following assistance to the people of the Gambia: Sponsorship, School help / Support, Malaria project, Agriculture/Goat project, Horses and Donkeys trust, and Sponsorship.
The project currently sponsors the urban areas (KMC and Banjul) and upcountry (Killy, Sibanor, Bondali, and Sintet). The sponsorship package covers: Tuition fees per annum, Study fees, School lunch fees, books, Uniforms, school bags and shoes
The Danish association understands the fact that encouraging education results in self-reliance, empowerment in the future, helping children to seek for education, and these are skills which directly impacts on economic empowerment for any community. The Gambia’s Venner is therefore happy to be associated with peoples’ self-development and it’s an objective the association will continue to pursue.
School help/ Support – The School Help Project aims at making learning accessible and comfortable. The provision of school furniture and school office furniture is an ongoing activity of the Gambia’s Venner.
Sintet Nursery and Sintet Lower and Upper Basic School have received chairs and tables to replace all worn out furniture in the school. Thanks to Gambia’s Venner, and Sintet Schools are amongst the most equipped in furniture in the region and it has attracted many students to these schools.
Gambia’s Venner also gave similar support to Kalagi Upper Basic School and targets to get the school fully furnished, to make learning at the upper grades more comfortable and attractive for the region to send in their children.
The School Help Project is also involved in assisting students who walk on foot long distances to get to school on time by supplying them with bicycles. Currently some of the beneficiaries are students from Sintet going to Kalagi upper basic schools, Kammamadu students walking to Sintet lower basic school and recently Geonkel village students. It is the aim of Gambia’s Venner to support all students who walk long distances with bicycles.
The School Support and Help Project also have an annex IT teaching Centre. Students in the upper basic cycle are introduced to computer education before reaching their senior grades. A dedicated IT teacher is available to guide the students and this have tremendous transform the pupils of Sintet School in the field of Computer knowledge.
Malaria project –The Gambia’s Venner is fully aware that malaria is a problem in the Gambia and complementing Government services is vital. Children are mostly absent from schools when they get infected with malaria and this has a direct impact in their learning. The project assists the community of Sintet with mosquito nets and emphasize on the importance of sleeping under nets to prevent mosquito bite. The Gambia’s Venner distributes hundreds of mosquito nets in each of the visits.
Agriculture/Goat project – The Gambia’s Venner is also involved in supporting the women of Sintet in generating direct income to support their families. Women are given a goat and expected to handover one offspring (female Goat) to another woman in the community before ownership of the goat. This is an ongoing project and already benefited many women in the community.
The people of Sintet Fullakunda were supplied with a mill machine, power tillers, and a tractor. This is to support them in agriculture thereby increasing and processing their farming produce as it is the main income of the community of Sintet Fullakunda.
Horses and Donkeys Trust –The horses and donkey trust is geared towards teaching animal owners (Donkeys and Horses) in the community on how to look after their animals to keep them healthy and for the animals to serve them longer.
Animal’s owners are supplied with halters, head collars, Bits, saddles and more. Heidi Pacchiarini, the Animal Project Coordinator advised people to stop using traditional ones that inflict a lot of pain and injuries to these animals. They are also taught on how to take care of their animals hoofs. This is the first of its kind in the community and it is transforming animal care in the region.