Yahya Sonko, RISE

By: Bakary Ceesay, in Germany

Two associations run and managed by Gambians in Germany; Help to Help Foundation and RAISE-The Gambian Helping Hands, have been nominated for the Best African Association in Germany Award at the AFRONEWS – Ortel Mobile African Community in Germany Awards (2021).

Winners of the AFRONEWS – Ortel Mobile African Community in Germany Awards (2021) will be announced at the Awards Gala Night sponsored by Ortel Mobile on 23rd October 2021 from 18:00 to 23:00 at Freigut Bootshaus GmbH, Freigut-Frankfurt, Eiserner Steg (Sachsenhäuser Mainufer), 60594 Frankfurt am Main.

Sponsored by Ortel Mobile, Germany’s leading prepaid sim cards provider for people with a migration background, the AFRONEWS – Ortel Mobile African Community in Germany Awards celebrate and recognise the outstanding achievements of Africans in different fields in Germany.

Details of the nominee: The main objective of Help to Help Foundation is to support African immigrants in Germany, especially those facing difficulties settling in the country.

It facilitates their integration and provides them legal advice.

Help to Help Foundation helps poor Africans in German have access to medical care and transports back home the bodies of those who die in Germany. One of its future projects is to work towards unity of Africans in Germany.

Help to Help Foundation was founded and is headed by the Gambian-born Christopher Mendy alias CHRIS BLACK.

Chris Black has been implementing different projects ranging from empowering Africans to invest back home, to nurturing talents of emerging African musicians and DJs, and organising multicultural exchange events bringing together Africans, Germans and other nationals living in Germany.

Details of the nominee: RAISE – The Gambian Helping Hands promotes international relations between the Gambians and Germans.

It facilitates connections between the schools in Germany and The Gambia and supports Gambian schools and teachers with educational materials.

RAISE – The Gambian helping Hands plans projects, implements and monitors them with the help of the Gambian associations.

Through Mr Yahya Sonko, an experienced Gambian refugee activist who is the Vice Chair of the association, RAISE – The Gambian helping Hands works with Gambian refugees in Germany.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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