By Omar Bah
Karpowership, the Turkish energy company operating in The Gambia, on Wednesday and Thursday, presented hundreds of bags of rice and sugar to charities and needy institutions in The Gambia.
Since its establishment in The Gambia in May 2018, Karpowership has become one of the most active corporate social responsive companies in The Gambia.
On Wednesday, the new Karpowership country manager, Omar Njie, presented 100 ten kilo bags of sugar and 40 fifty kilo bags of rice to the Fatou Bah-Barrow Foundation.
At the handing-over ceremony at State House, Mr Njie said Karpowership places a high premium on its corporate social responsibility and has spent tens of millions of dalasis assisting government departments, institutions and individuals in the four years of its operation in the country.
“The company has supported the Edward Francis Teaching Hospital, Gambia National Library, The Gambia Police, National Environment Agency, communities in Lower River and North Bank regions, projects on women’s empowerment, fisher folk around Banjul and others including procuring five ventilators for the government at the height of Covid-19 costing D6 million,” Njie recounted.
He said the donation of the food items to FaBB Foundation is part of the annual Ramadan and Tobaski assistance to needy Gambians.
FaBB Foundation’s manager of programmes, Lamin K Saidy, commended Karpowership for being at the forefront in supporting the foundation’s initiatives. “The last support Karpowership gave the foundation was at the Baby of the Year programme,” he said.
He assured Karpowership that the donated food items will reach the targeted beneficiaries. “We are grateful to Karpowership for choosing FaBB for fulfilling your corporate social responsibility,” he said.
He appealed to Karpowership to support the foundation’s water projects which aim at digging boreholes in communities across the country.
From State House, the Karpowership team moved to the Banjul jetty area where 40 bags of sugar and 40 bags of rice were given to fisherwomen and fishermen who operated in the maritime vicinity the powership is anchored.
In presenting the gifts, Mr Njie emphasised the importance of good neighbourliness and said the fisher folk have enjoyed a cordial and mutually beneficent relationship with Karpowership and engineers who work and reside in the powership.
The recipients expressed their gratitude to Karpowership for the “timely donation” and promised to share it among their members in a fair and transparent manner.
The Karpowership team also visited the Mile 2 Central Prison and donated 30 bags of rice and 30 bags of sugar.
The deputy director-general of Gambia Prisons Services, Keita Saidy, expressed his institution’s gratitude to Karpowership and expressed his hope that the donation will mark the beginning of a long relationship of cooperation.
“This donation is very timely because the government cannot do everything on its own. So the inmates need your support. We should make them feel that there is somebody out there who cares for them,” he said.
He explained that not all prisoners are criminals and bad people and that even those members of society who slipped up along the journey of life and ended up being incarcerated deserve the support and empathy of member of the society.
‘Caring and catering for”
On Thursday, the Karpowership team visited the Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital at Salagi and donated 30 bags of sugar and 30 bags of rice.
In presenting the gifts, Country Manager Njie said Ramadan is a time of sharing and caring especially for less fortunate people like those undergoing treatment at the psychiatric hospital. “These gifts are a manifestation of Karpowership’s belief that we need to care and cater for everyone including our brothers and sisters who are mentally challenged,” Mr Njie Said.
In receiving the gifts, the department matron, Omar Bojang, explained that Tanka Tanka is not a stand-alone facility but a part of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and offers free treatment.
He said mental illness is neglected in The Gambia and lamented that whereas patients in other hospitals receive visitors, “90 per cent of Tanka Tanka patients never receive a visitor”.
He thanked Karpowership for extending a helping hand and urged other companies to follow suit.
Later on Thursday, heads of three orphanages and Qur’anic memorisation centres in the Greater Banjul Area met at Al-Ihsaan Foundation and Centre in Salagi to receive ten bags of rice and ten bags of sugar respectively.
Mr Njie thanked the institutions for the “great work” they are doing in taking care of orphans and putting them on the path of Allah.
In receiving the gifts, Muhammed Darboe, head of Al-Ihsaan Foundation and Quar’anic Memorisation Centre thanked Karpowership and said feeding is the biggest challenge facing institutions like his. “Food is our oxygen and we hope help like this will no be given out just in Ramadan,” he pleaded.
Muhammed Ceesay from Madrasatul Nurul Sabakh Foundation and Quar’anic Memorisation Centre in Somita and Saihou Gassama from Arafang Lang Ceesay Quar’anic Memorisation Centre in Sukuta Nema made similar remarks.
Omar Njie thanked the recipients as well as the government of The Gambia, Nawec, Pura, GPA, GMA and NEA for providing Karpowership the conducive environment to operate in The Gambia.