By Makutu Manneh
Isatou Sarr aged 35, is a native of Sukuta, in the West Coast Region, who believes it is a moral responsibility for every citizen to give back to his/her country of birth.
Inspired by her belief, she deemed it prudent to move heaven and earth to making sure that she gives back to the needy and public institutions.
Growing up in this cosmopolitan township outside the commercial hub of Serrekunda, Sarr remembers the joys of her childhood even amid the hardship surrounding her. She is now passing that smile to others.
Convinced of the fact that she can make a difference in the lives of people, Mrs Sarr started a foundation in 2017 and since its inception; the organization has donated to the Sukuta Health Center and provided clothing and meals to orphanages.
Her foundation is impacting Gambian lives through donations to hospitals, orphanages, schools, institutions and helping people with meals.
“I just want to make a change in the lives of my people in any small way I can and this inspires me,” said Isatou. “It is also the inspiration behind the foundation.”
The Isatou Sarr Rural Development Foundation has partnered with a Spanish foundation, Porunasonrisa Dogrove, that collects donations and materials to support the people of The Gambia.
Her support to communities and hospitals is greeted with a thunderous approval by the beneficiaries.
“During the distributions, I notice that the people appreciate what we are doing. It is fulfilling to see happiness in their expressions,” she said. “Seeing them happy is motivating and made me fall more in love with the work we do.”
“My plan is not to limit the donation to my home town but across the Gambia and this is why I move to new locations every time,” Isatou said.
Sarjo Kujabi is Isatou’s husband. He cannot hide his joy and pride in the humanitarian work his wife is doing with her partners. He supports his spouse by advising her on what to do and how to do it.
“My wife sharing and caring for fellow Gambians is a blessing to our Family,” Kujabi said.
Isatou has not just provided support to only her community of Sukuta, she has also helped people across the country, including the Faji Kunda Hospital.
She donated couches and chairs for new parents to the maternity ward of the hospital. The hospital only had baby couch and crib and she donated to help resolve the issue.
“We have only one baby couch in our hospital, we exchange newborns on this couch but now that Isatou donated an extra couch, it will make a lot of differences in Faji Kunda Health Center,” Madi Ceesay, the hospital’s chief officer said.
“The Health Center has been struggling for a very long time to the extent of bathing babies in the sink due to equipment shortage.”
The Health Center management is thankful to Isatou for the changes her donation brought to the health center.
“What Isatou is doing is a sign of responsible citizenship,” said Ceesay.
Growing up was not all rosy for Isatou. After graduating from high school, having a job was scarce. She did not rest on her laurels. She enrolled and had had training at a skills training center: Little Tree Skills Training Center.
It prepared her for a career and ways that will change her life for the better. She received three years of skills training at Little Tree. She is now donating to the skills training center that helped shape her life.
Famara Sanyang, a former teacher to Isatou said it is delighting and hearty to see a former student of the school helping out and donating to the school.
“Isatou was among the first badge I thought in this school and she is the second student to be contributing to the development of this school. I am so proud of her,” Mr. Sanyang said.
Students at Little Tree were sharing a single sewing machine for training. Isatou’s contribution will change some of that in their learning process.
Isatou Sarr Rural Development Foundation supplies books, pencils, pens, clothes, baby items, mattresses, and hygienic materials, sewing machines, technical equipment, and food to people. She promises to give all that she can to support the people living in The Gambia for the country’s betterment and humanity.
Isatou is all about helping the needy. Helping the needy is the kind of headline you hardly see in the news but it is also the type of story that will make you smile and give you hope, like her friends will say:
“Since the objective of the Foundation is to help the needy, I see a great future for the foundation and the people of the Gambia,” said Omar Corr a friend to Mrs. Sarr.