1 August 2012

Gambia: Social Welfare Dept. Distributes Food Items to Arabic Schools, Others

The Department of Social Welfare Friday distributed food aid, sanitary materials and cash to needy families, elderly persons, disabled persons and Arabic schools commonly known as 'Dara'.

The food items were donated by the Turkish Aid International (TIKA) through the Gambian Ambassador's office in Turkey. The food items, sanitary materials and cash were distributed to 12 Arabic schools in KSMD, West Coast Region, Lower River Region, North Bank Region and Upper River Region as part of the Department of Social Welfare's contribution in the pilot scheme in protection of Talibeh's in the Quranic School.

Speaking at the event, Fanta Bai Secka, the director of Social Welfare disclosed that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)?with the Arabic schools in collaboration with the Institute for Social Reformation and Action (ISRA) for a conditional cash transfer provision of two facilitators to teach the children English, Maths and Science as part of the children Islamic educational programme. "The conditional cash transfer from the ?Social Welfare is for the provision of livelihood skills to the children," she said.

She stated that the MoBSE would ensure that children in Arabic schools got the right education. She further stated that her department is working closely with the MoBSE to make sure that children in Arabic schools are discouraged from street begging. She explained that that is why the Conditional Cash Transfer project is supporting the heads of Arabic schools to give the children the right care they deserve, adding that 10 hours will be given to children to learn English, Maths and Science. Secka also stressed that the donated money will be monitored on a monthly basis to ensure that children stop begging in the streets.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries at Wulinkama, Serign Mamour Singhateh thanked the Department of Social Welfare, TIKA and MoBSE for the support they are giving to Arabic schools. He assured that all the items donated will be put into good use. Among the places visited were Pirang, Taibatou Quranic School in Kololi, and Home for the Elderly in Bakoteh, among others.

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