The Big Smile Project, The Gambia, a UK based charitable organization, has on Wednesday 10th January 2017 donated the Child Welfare Unit of the Gambia Armed Forces. The donated items include 420 bags of loe, medical bandages and other essential items to the child clinic.
Colonel Essa Tamba, head of the child welfare unit, described the day as a solemn adding that this is the first time in six months that the Unit is benefiting from such a magnanimous gesture.
“The Child Welfare Unit is a brain child of the Chief of Defense Staff, meant to take care of our fallen heroes who have died while on active service”, he said
He said for years the Unit has been taking care of the schooling of the fallen colleges, which is expanding daily, adding that death is eminent. This according to Colonel Tamba is a huge task; but notwithstanding, the vision of CDS is to ensure that it is sustainable and continues.
He thanked the benefactors for their continuous unflinching humanitarian support and implored others to follow suit and assured the project their loyalty at all times, with a view to further cementing collaboration between them and the project.
Diana Saine, co founder of the project said the donation was born out of their desire to bring smile on the faces of the families of the fallen heroes and expressed hope of continuity in their partnership.
Army Commander of The Gambia National Army, Brigadier General Mamat .O. Cham on behalf of the CDS said they are indeed touched by the good will gesture from their donors. He also alluded that the Unit is a brain child of the CDS of The Gambia Armed Forces and explained that in the Army they value togetherness in all their undertakings and also support each other in terms of difficulty as one family.
“It is due to this spirit that the CDS though it fit that the children and families of our departed comrades should not be left alone after the death of their bread winner. So he has though of ways in which we can reach out and continue that comradeship, which can only be done is to create fund through which we can support the education of the children they left behind”, he said
He added that they are aware of the existence of Health Ministry under the government, but this is a particular unit within GAF that is meant to support and see through the families of their fallen comrades, into their education and help in the building strong educated and informed nation.
Our principal duty is to defend the country, but we understand that in order to do this we need educated and informed citizenry, that is loyal, patriotic in order to build a future of a strong nation, which care about one and other
He said last month they organized a fund raising program and proceeds of that program will be ploughed back to the Child Welfare Unit, with a view to give the children the best education, in which regard General Cham called on other philanthropic groups. He thanked the project for the gesture and assured them that the items will be utilized judiciously to serve its intended purpose for the benefit of the children. The event was chaired by Lutenan Malick Sanyang of the Armed Forces Public Relations Department.