Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends, a charitable organisation based in Wales in the United Kingdom recently donated a 20-footer container fully loaded with educational materials and medical equipment worth D2, 500,000.00 to five institutions in Jarra West District in the Lower River Region (LRR).
The consignment include: exercise books and among other learning materials, medications and medical equipment.
The beneficiaries were Soma Major Health Centre, Tahir Senior Secondary School, Pakalinding Upper Basic School and Kanni Kunda Lower Basic School.
The charity's chairman, Myrddin Owens and wife, at a well-attended gathering held at the premises of Sankwia Village Skills Centre in Jarra, also officially handed over a husbandry project funded by the charity to the people of Sankwia Village.
Salifu Puye, the regional governor of LRR, in his remarks, commended Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends for complementing the efforts of The Gambia government under the able leadership of President Jammeh in development of the country. He described the donations as very important and as a step towards nation building.
He expressd believe that the initiative will go a long way to empowering and improving the living standards of Gambians especially those at the grass-roots level.
The LRR governor encouraged the donors to keep up the momentum. He mentioned the newly built husbandry project at Sankwia Skills Centre and the borehole at Soma Major Health Centre amongst other developments brought by the charity.
The district chief of Jarra West, Alhaji Yahya Jarjusey acknowledged the contribution of the charity towards the development of the people of LRR. He informed that Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends is not only providing scholarship for students in Sankwia village but has gone further to dig a borehole at Soma Major Health Centre as well as provided 24-hour solar power system to the health facility.
The chief urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity being provided by the charity and thanked the charity for their various interventions in his district.
Highlighting the various interventions by the charity, Buka Fofana, the coordinator of Sankwia Skills Centre disclosed that Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends is currently providing full scholarship package for 500 students in Sankwia village. The annual scholarship package include school fees plus two uniforms and a pair of shoe for each student from basic to senior secondary schools. "The charity has also sponsored 500 patients in LRR to undergo cataract operation at Soma Major Health Centre," he added.
The project coordinator and councillor for Jaduma Ward in Jarra West District affirmed further that the Husbandry Project in the village of Sankwia, which is being officially inaugurated, is amongst the latest projects of the charity's intervention in LRR.
He recalled that the first intervention of the charity was the establishment of a fully equipped skills centre for youngsters in Jarra to acquire skills, a village cooperative society with ten sewing machines for income generation for the people of Sankwia as well as a state-of-the-art solar power system to Kanni Kunda Lower Basic School in Jarra West.
Myrddin Owens, the chairman of Sankwia Friends, said it all started following his maiden visit to the village of Sankwia in 2005. According to him, it was then that he felt the need to support the people of The Gambia.
Upon his return back to the United Kingdom, he added, he and others took up the initiative to twin the two-village of Jarra Sankwia and AMLWCH in Wales in the United Kingdom.
In 2006 Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends was established and registered as a charitable organisation based in the UK with the aim and objective of giving support to the people of The Gambia especially to those in the community of Sankwia village, and its surrounding communities of Jarra West District.
"Since then Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends has been shipping fully loaded containers annually to The Gambia," Owens stated.
The chairman further informed the gathering that his charity has now spent approximately 30 million Dalasis on various projects; ranging from education, health and agriculture in LRR.
Owens commended the people of Sankwia for the warm welcome accorded him and his wife. "We really appreciate this accompany by the communities of Jarra in honour of our visit to the village of Sankwia. Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends will continue to give support to the people of Jarra Sankwia and surrounding communities," he promised.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Yaya Bah, a student at Tahir Senior Secondary School described Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends as true friends of the village, while thanking them for the support.
Other speakers incuded: Fanding Kanyi, the alkalo of Sankwia village; Seedy Sanneh, the local president of Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends; and Fabakary Sanneh, the chairman of Mansakonko Area Council.