20 December 2012

Gambia: Pa Modou Jagne Sets Up a Foundation

Gambian international player Pa Modou Jagne, who goes by his sobriquet Nda, Tuesday met with the minister of Youth and Sports, Alieu Kebba Jammeh, at his Office at the Quadrangle in Banjul.

The meeting with Minister Jammeh followed the Press Conference that the FC St Gallen player's Foundation convened at the Paradise Suites Hotel last week.

The Foundation that will be called the "Nda-Mariam Jagne Family Foundation", is a registered NGO that aims to contribute to The Gambia's health sector, specifically focusing on maternal health, as well as develop youth talents through football clinics, focusing on a strong educational foundation for children.

The inspiration to support maternal health was associated with the former Gambia Port Authority player's late mother who he said died because of a lack of quality maternal health. Briefing the minister, Nda explained that the Foundation shall adopt various steps, both at national and international levels. It will also create partnership and strategic alliance with individuals and organisations to develop grassroots sports and harness youth football talents with provision of football materials and equipments. It will also partner with individuals and organisations both locally and internationally for the provision of quality maternal health in the country.

The Foundation shall operate on a set of core values ranging from non-discrimination to privacy and confidentiality, mutual respect and trust, respect for human rights, accountability, probity and transparency to gender and equal opportunities.

The Foundation will support maternal health in The Gambia focusing more on equipment and infrastructure and raising awareness especially within marginalised communities in the country. Statistics show that maternal mortality is higher in rural communities than in the urban centres and as a result, specific attention will be given to address this issue. It will also promote safer sex, delaying sexual debut and building the assertiveness skills of young people particularly young girls.

Nda further explained that the Foundation will support nurturing young football talents, while laying emphasis on the importance of education for athletes, because according to him, footballers should also have good academic records. The Foundation will also support health care initiatives in The Gambia through visits and placements of medical practitioners from Europe in Gambian health facilities. It will also work with various sectors, organisations and individuals, among which are the government of The Gambia, hospitals, official partners, volunteers and a host of other important partners.

On his part, Minister Jammeh welcomed the move by Pa Modou Jagne and congratulated him for the initiative. He said this is what the country needs from people like Pa Modou Jagne.

The Sports minister further stated that the country especially the youthful generation needs good role models like Nda, who are people of good character who can inspire others and impact positive things in them

He added that footballers in general are celebrities who can influence the younger generation to impact positively on the young people and take life seriously.

He concluded that their main focus as a ministry and government is to develop the community at the grassroots level.

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