The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in partnership with the International Federation for Red Cross (IFRC) on Monday 28th November 2021 launched the Impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable children project at GRCS headquarters in Kanifing.
The D600, 000 project would be implemented in the Kanifing Municipality and North Bank Region. It targets children at GOVI School, St. John's School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Gambia Organisation for Visually Impaired. It aims to provide protection and assistance to vulnerable children in The Gambia.
The project will cover three months cost of feeding for malnutrition students in the NBR and cover three months learning materials and transportation cost in the Kanifing Municipality. The project will support one hundred and fifty children from each of the two regions.
Jato J. Sillah, president of GRCS described the project as one of the most important initiatives by the humanitarian organisation.
He said GRCS is very interested in the future of the country, noting that they therefore deemed it necessary to support children who would be in charge of the country in future.
Sillah commended IFRC for the support and thanked The Gambia government for giving GRCS the enabling environment to work in the country.
Daniel J. Mendy, principal of St. John's School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing expressed gratitude to GRCS and partners for the gesture. He said the project would go a long way in helping the deaf and hard of hearing students.
He urged the GRCS to train its staff and volunteers on sign language to ensure they communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people in case of any emergency. He further appealed to the humanitarian organization to provide a school bus for his school to ease movement of deaf and hard of hearing students from home to school.
Alasan Senghore, Secretary General for GRCS recalled that when the pandemic knocked the country, GRCS was the first institution to respond through provision of food items to vulnerable communities to ensure they are prepared for the pandemic.
Therefore, he said the project is a continuation of the GRCS humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senghore said the humanitarian institution is always committed to assisting vulnerable people in the society, adding that the assistance has gone beyond material assistance alone but also kindheartedness and encouragement.
"We will put into consideration the issues raised by beneficiaries because training people on sign language is very important," he said.
He thanked the International Federation for Red Cross for supporting GRCS in assisting vulnerable children to COVID-19.
Daniel Balanos Gonzales, head of Sahel Cluster for IFRC said: "IFRS will continue to support the GRCS to provide services to the most vulnerable population of The Gambia, one of them is children. Children are the future leaders of the nation."
Mohammed Omar Mukhier, regional director, Africa IFRC Regional Office said: "IFRC has more than 190 member associations. We pay much attention to schools, for us schools are important institutions to spread the principles and values of Red Cross. It is an important institution to prepare the next generation of Red Cross leaders."
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