The president of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh on Wednesday gave the sum of D106, 500 to the Social Science and Humanity Students Association (SSHSA) and the Science Club of the University of The Gambia (UTG).
He also extended his benevolence to St. Therese's Junior Choir with a sum of D110, 000 while three individuals namely; Mrs Madeline Njie, Mrs Harries Njie and Mrs Mary Foon, were given D78, 500 each for their pilgrimages to Rome and Israel respectively.
The monies were presented to the beneficiaries by the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Her Excellency Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, at her office in State House.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, VP Njie-Saidy applauded the president for giving out the money to the individuals who she said deserved it. She commended the students of the UTG for the bold step taken to reach out to schools in the rural areas and enlighten them about the importance of university education as well as science and their voluntary teaching in the classrooms.
She urged the students to spend the money wisely, while dilating on the importance of guidance and counseling in schools, which she said helps students know and understand how to become good leaders in future. "Sharing knowledge and experience is laudable and I really appreciate your initiative," she remarked.
VP Njie-Saidy also spoke about the importance of science and technology, according to her, prompted President Jammeh to declare 2012 as the Year of Science and Technology. She reminded the students that the president wants to see Gambian-made products in the country, and urged them to take advantage of the enabling environment he has created.
The vice president also expressed her profound gratitude to the St Therese's Junior Choir for the good work they are doing, noting that the youth of this country are very committed to religious work. She spoke about the cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims in the country, saying it helps in peace building and urged them to keep up the good job they are doing.
She also congratulated Mrs Madeline Njie and others and reminded them of the Gambian leader's magnanimity, noting that he has sponsored a lot of people to perform pilgrimages in Israel and Rome.
The minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Momodou Tangara, also applauded the president for declaring the year 2012 as the Year of Science and Technology, saying it is part of his visionary leadership.
He used the opportunity to commend the UTG students for the bold step in reaching to students across the country to inform them about the importance of science. He also harped on the importance of human development and urged the students to use the money judiciously.
Nicolas Jatta, the chairman of the UTG SSHSA and Science Club organising committee, who received the money on behalf of the students, told the gathering that the club has been in existence since the inception of the UTG. "Because of the declaration of 2012 as the Year of Science and Technology by the president, we deemed it prudent to embark on a nationwide tour to inform students at the provinces about the importance of science and university education," he said.
St Therese's Junior Choir
The sum of D110, 000 donated to the Choir was received by Pascal Karbo. It is earmarked for staging a concert on the 25th of May 2012 at Jama Hall. Karbo said that they annually stage the concert and also contribute immensely to the development of churches in the country. "We always receive good gestures from the president and this is why we ask from him once more," he added.
Mrs Hadeline Njie & Mrs Harries Njie
According them, they planned to go for pilgrimage but had no cash and therefore decided to write to the president who finally came to their aid. They thanked the Gambian leader for the gesture.
Mrs Mary Foon
Mrs Foon equally received the sum of D78, 500 to fulfill her intended pilgrimage to Israel. She thanked the president for the gesture and prayed for his long life, good health and prosperity.