By: Bubacarr Fallaboweh
The SOS Children Village, Gambia recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. It partnered with Serekunda West and Manjai sports committee in their BMZ project, with communities like Manjai, Bakoteh, and Dippa Kunda taking the lead.
The advocacy protects children from all child rights abuses at the Bakoteh dump site.
The project started at the Serekunda West mini stadium, where Empty Land locked horns with Kanifing in their super cup. The non-government organization provided T-shirts, jerseys, medals, banners, trophies, and refreshments.
Speaking to Alkamba Sports, the Business Development Officer, who also doubles as the focal person of this activity, Malang Bojang emphasized that the project is to create awareness of children.
“The target is to retire children from accessing the dump site, raise awareness on the rights of children through sports on the safe waste management and hazard prevention particular the dangers it poses on children and their health,” He said.
“Sports is the primary target for this particular activity. We think that one of the fastest ways or means of Mass mobilization is sports, especially football, at this time of the year. Having partnered with these centers will help us to send this message to them.
Reach out to many young people to be informed of the dangers the dump site can expose children to, and what are some of the mitigating factors they can put in place to halt children from accessing the dump site.”
“The centers are recognized Nawettan centers by the GFF. Partnering with them helps in reaching out to these numbers.”
“The goal is to represent the combined effort of the community structures such as the Youth and Sports Committees, Football Clubs and Community leaders as well as Musicians to raise awareness and reduce child rights violations at the Bakoteh Dumpsite.”
“It’s a project, and its intervention has limits typically, but the advocacy which is part of the agreement will continue, ” Bojang added.
SOS currently has a green zone, planting trees to minimize the scent and amount of smoke.