By Fatoumatta K Jallow
The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) on Monday 2nd October 2017 gave financial support to 17 students of families of human rights violations in the Gambia with school fees amounting to D70, 000.00.
The students from primary schools, each received D3,000.00, those from Junior Schools received D4, 000.00 each, Senior Secondary students received D5, 000.00 each while one vocational student received D5, 000.00.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Sheriff M. Kijera, Vice Chairman of the Centre explained that they received financial aid from Boka Loho, an organisation based in Sweden, through Ida Marita, who is very much concerned for the victims and their families.
He added that the package was initially meant to support orphans but they decided to extend the support to families of needy victims.
He said they are yet to receive any support from Government or any other organisation for office space; that it is government’s responsibility to support every victims’ families and they will continue to advocate for government to take its responsibility and ensure the welfare of victims’ families are addressed.
According to him, there are victims that require medical support and last April, the Turkish Embassy in Banjul offered 9 free medical programs to some of the victims but unfortunately one passed away.
He added that government should facilitate their air tickets and Gambia Ports Authority has pledged to pay for 4 air tickets.
He appealed to government to support the victims committee with the remaining 4 air tickets and thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports for writing the letters they distributed.
He also said they have identified 25 victims who are offered free treatment in Senegal and Ms. Marita is tirelessly working on facilitating their transportation, living expenses and feeding cost.
Mr. Kijera noted that it is time Adama Barrow meet the victims because all Gambians fought for the change of government.
He thanked Ida Marita for her foresight and support for Gambians. He also thanked Dr Scattred Janneh for providing them office space and thanked volunteers of the organisation.
Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, said meeting the victims and their families as well as people who sacrificed for the country, should be more of a priority to government than even meeting politicians, investors or activists, because most have lost their lives, properties and businesses whilst others have been beaten to the extent that they cannot do anything for themselves now.
Mr. Janneh thanked the donor and urged the victims to be patient as there is something bigger to come in the near future.
Beneficiaries commended the donor and center by recognizing and appreciating their efforts.
They said they have waited enough to meet the President and it is time they sit with him because the sacrifices they made was not for party but country.
Most of the victims said they feel abandoned by Government after putting their lives at risk for the country.