By Mariama Marong
Grace Orphanage Foundation (GOF) has laid the foundation stone for the construction of a house of orphans for the vulnerable children living in the country held at Kunkujang Jatta-ya in West Coast Region.
Grace Orphanage Foundation is a non-profitable organisation established in The Gambia by a US-based Gambian. It is called House of Orphans because it intends to plough back to the communities of Kombo North and most importantly to the people of Kunkujang Jatta-Ya.
Michael T Williams, the founder of GOF, expressed delight in the construction of a modern house of orphans, which is all geared towards improving the lives and livelihood of children and women.
Williams said the foundation could assist children build their strength and capacity to achieve what they yearn for and be responsible citizens of the Gambia. He added that children play a crucial role in the development of a nation and they need to be supported and protected.
“I believe that children, women and girls need much more protection from the society we are living in now and building their stamina for the betterment of all is a responsibility of all,” he added.
Williams said women and youth of Jatta-Ya will be supported by the GOF because Grace Orphanage does not only help children but diversifies the work of women and youth.
He noted the need to nurture future leaders through preparing a strong connection with the world, saying the slogan orphanage “is love house meaning giving love and compassion to the children.”
“The orphanage will not only support children living around Kombo North but the whole country at large and it will also serve as a center that will create job opportunities for people as well,” he said.
Ebrima Sanyang, speaking on behalf of the village committee, said it is an honour to have a great initiative that will support children by giving home to homeless children.
Sanyang, who doubles as an Imam, said giving back to the people is a great deed that should be emulated by all and sundry. He assured that the people living in the village will be available to render their support as needed by the foundation.
Imam Sanyang said there is no place on earth which doesn’t want assistance or development.
“As a village, all we need is development that helps our children, women and youth,” he said.
He used the opportunity to call on others to emulate what Williams has done in building houses for the homeless and supporting village development initiatives.
Madam Therese, who is part of the women’s committee of the village, said it is key to have a foundation that will be supporting children by giving them a house they call home, assuring them that their community will assist in the realisation of the foundation’s goals and objectives.
She added that women and youth played a crucial role in the development of the village and she assured GOF founders their support in building the community they all yearn for, saying the social well-being of children is a concern to women.
“It is very disheartening to see children roaming the streets without anywhere to lay their head on or even a place to call home. But this foundation will help to reduce the burden of children by giving them home and quality living standards and with high quality education,” she added.
Therese commended the founders for what she called “job well done” and for their support toward the people of Kunkujang.