Kombo Sillah Association (UK) donates to Gunjur Health Centre
By Sainey Darboe
Kombo Sillah Association in the UK on Saturday 4th November presented a cheque of D100,000 to Gunjur Health Centre for the expansion of the maternity ward. The presentation ceremony which was coordinated and facilitated by Gunjur Development Association (GDA) took place at Gunjur health centre attended by National Assembly Member for Kombo South and Majority Leader, Hon. Kebba K Barrow, representative of Alikalo, Chief Lamin S Darboe, Imam Muhammad Lamin Touray, Village elders and residents. Speaking to this medium on the initiative, KSA Finance Director Bakary Touray had this to say: “In October 2015, we did our first fundraising events which were intended to help the Gunjur Health Centre fight against malaria. When I visited the place in December 2015 and held meetings with staff regarding the money that had been raised from our fundraising events, the head of the Health Centre pointed out the support they already received from other organisations to fight malaria and urged us to help in an area in dire need of support - the maternity ward. We have since redirected our focus onto improving conditions in the Gunjur maternity ward. “About a month ago, KSA held its first ever cultural weekend in Bristol to raise some money for the Gunjur Maternity Ward, where we promised that all proceeds will be put towards improving its facilities. The events were successful and we raised just over £1,630. This amount was handed to our partners in development in a beautiful ceremony today. In Gunjur, as in many parts of the Gambia, women experience many difficulties in pregnancy and it is the wish of KSA to make the experience of childbirth as safe and stress-free as possible for Gambian women”. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, the organising committee, all the donors, particularly Neneh Bojang Touray and her delegation from Norway, Mamakaddy Bajo and Aminata Faye Manjang from Sweden, Awa Bah Sanneh, Nanna Jatta Bojang and Ida Jallow Rashid of the U.K for their generous donations”, concluded Mr Touray.
The Chief of Kombo South, Lamin Darboe on his part, said he is the happiest among the crowd and indicated that the donation embodies a demonstration by KSA “that they are worthy sons and daughters of Gunjur and Gambia as a whole” . He said the intervention will go a long way in alleviating hardships hobbling the facility. Chief Darboe indicated that the government attaches great importance to the improvement of health sector, but due to limited resources, government alone cannot do it. He thanked Kombo Sillah Association on behalf of the entire community for remembering home even though they may be many miles away.
Demba Jobe Touray, VDC chairman expressed his delight in witnessing yet another presentation ceremony in which Kombo Sillah Association is contributing towards the development of Gunjur Health Centre. Mr Jobe Touray indicated that the association have in the past donated medication to the health centre to a tune of D32,000. He thanked KSA on behalf of the community. On his part, MP for Kombo South who also doubles as Majority Leader of the National Assembly seized the opportunity to thank KSA for the wonderful gesture. Hon. Barrow informed the gathering that he has had fruitful interactions with members and executive of the Kombo Sillah Association dating back to 2005. He indicated that he has seen the tremendous work KSA is doing both in the UK and in Gambia and recognises the fact the the association is worth its salt given that they have successfully registered as a UK charitable organisation.
Hon. Barrow further indicated that the donation to the Gunjur Health Centre is timely as the health sector is one of the key areas of their intervention as being one of the sectors that are in the doldrums in the country. He therefore welcome the donation as it will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of women and children not only in Gunjur, but the entire population of Kombo South.
Hon. K K Barrow further thanked the executive committee of Kombo Sillah Association for the right gesture in helping the young people of Gunjur to ensure that their health status is improved. He conclude by thanking the entire membership of KSA on behalf of the Alkalo, Chief and all the 8 Kabilos and and Kafos of Gunjur.
Lamin J Darboe, prominent Gunjur lawyer and representative of Kombo Sillah Association at the ceremony gave background of Kombo Sillah Association, her membership, as well as vision and mission of the association. Barrister Darboe informed the meeting that KSA was formed initially largely by majority of Gunjurians residing in the United Kingdom but has since expanded to include other people across The Gambia. Speaking on behalf of the Gunjur Health Centre, a member of staff thanked Kombo Sillah Association and informed the gathering that when they were initially informed of the donation two weeks ago, they thought it was some form of a hoax but come to realise that this is real and as such could not have come at a better time. She thanked the donors on behalf of her entire staff of the health centre.
The handing over ceremony was chaired by Mr Badara Njie Bajo who is the President of Gunjur Development Association(GDA. Mr Bajo was assisted by the ground team of GDA which included the GDA Treasurer Omar Diamond Darboe, Bunama Jatta, Hatab Jobe, Jenny Ribgstead and Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh amongst others.
Kombo Sillah Association is a UK-based registered charity set up, amongst other things, to help alleviate poverty both in the U.K. and in The Gambia.