Two Gambian diplomats at the Embassy of The Gambia in Washington, D.C., were on Saturday, 25 February 2023, awarded by National Stop the Violence Alliance, Inc (NSTVA) for the roles they played in promoting African culture and peace within the African American communities in the United States of America. The ceremony was held at Mastery East Camden Middle in New Jersey.
In conferring the awards, Dr. Stephne Coney, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Stop the Violence Alliance organization said Deputy Ambassador of The Gambia, Mr. Mustapha Sosseh, was conferred the visionary award. Also, the First Secretary (Information and Cultural Affairs), Mr. Saikou Ceesay, was awarded for his dedication to promoting culture and diversity.
Dr. Coney thanked the delegation from the Embassy and said that The Gambia means “a whole world to me,” adding that her ancestors came from The Gambia. She told the story of Kunta Kinteh would be further explored with The Gambia Embassy for the younger generations to learn about their history and culture. She said preparations were underway for students to visit the Embassy and The Gambia in April this year.
Mr. Saikou Ceesay, who also deputized for Deputy Ambassador Mustapha Sosseh, said it was meaningful to receive these awards from an organization fighting to heal communities and promote peace in the U.S. since 1991.
“Peace is foremost, and without it, there cannot be any cooperation or collaboration,” said the Gambian diplomat, noting that this was the reason for the Embassy’s continuous effort to organize cultural awareness programs to promote diversity and peace across African–American communities.
Mr. Ceesay on behalf of the Deputy Ambassador Mr. Mustapha Sosseh thanked his colleagues at the Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, and the Government of The Gambia for the support and opportunity to serve at this level.
The award ceremony was in recognition of Black History Month, which celebrates and commemorates the history of African Americans in the U.S.
National Stop the Violence Alliance, Inc.’s (NSTVA) mission is to help heal our communities through the principles of nonviolence. NSTVA is committed to working collaboratively with the community through ministerial outreach, youth programs, joint conferences with law enforcement agencies and public officials, and informational seminars about the effects of drug usage, gang violence, sex education, and economic uplifting, such as how to ace interviews, how to obtain employment, and how to manage unemployment. In addition, NSTVA’s mission is to help end violence across the country and bring awareness to the many illnesses that affect our culture.