The First Lady of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, Her Excellency Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh, through her Operation Save the Children Foundation (OSCF) has come to the aid of two young women; a child marriage victim and a cancer stricken patient by presenting cheques amounting to D30,000 and D172,192 respectively.
Jonsaba Jaiteh is the victim of child marriage while Sally Leigh is a cancer patient who requires treatment in Dakar, Senegal.
The cheques were handed over to them by the Executive Director of the Foundation Fatou Mass Jobe in a ceremony held at State House on Wednesday.
Jonsaba is a child marriage victim and mother of two (aged four and one). Through the guidance and support of the Department of Social Welfare, she decided to go back to school and as a result the First Lady has committed to meet all her educational requirements amounting to D30, 000 per annum.
Sally Leigh’s treatment for cancer would also be exclusively sponsored by the First Lady. In addition to the full cost of the operation amounting to CFA 1,500,000, the First Lady has also decided to give her a refund of the CFA 600,000 she spent on transportation to and from Dakar, incidents and other expenses incurred during her trip to Senegal for the diagnosis.
Speaking at a brief handing over ceremony, Fatou Mass Jobe said Her Excellency’s concern for the holistic protection and development of children culminated in the establishment of the OSCF in November 2014. The main objective, she said is to complement the efforts of The Gambia Government in creating a conducive environment that will address the needs and aspirations of all children in the country.
Fanta Bai Secka, the Director at the Department of Social Welfare commended the First Lady for her tireless efforts in championing the wellbeing of children in this country. “I am deeply honoured for the support and I am sure Jonsaba will do well in school,“ she asserted.
Sally Leigh for her part thanked the First Lady for sponsoring her treatment. She disclosed that both her parents died as a result of cancer.
She praised the First Lady and prayed for her guidance and protection.
Jonsaba Jaiteh also expressed similar sentiments, while assuring that she will do her best in school.
by Alhagie Babou Jallow
& Binta Jammeh