The GATE Project Coordinator, Abdulai Mansaray said (GATE) project mainly focused on supporting and improving girl’s access to education in two districts, Bo and Bombali with a total of 197 schools, and Bo will be accounting for 87.
the GATE program manager, Mohamed Fofanah said the idea of providing the girls with learning materials, including bags, geometry sets, text books of the four core subjects and other learning materials, was born out of a consultation process with schools and communities, in order to determine their needs. Although, some people had wanted the money instead of the learning materials, a situation we considered inappropriate, for girl child education and empowerment, he landed.
Chief of Education Unicef, Grace Wongani said their mandate ensured the best interest of the child, as a result of that Unicef will always support children’s empowerment. She noted that
“Schooling in JSS was considered the most challenging, as most girls dropout of school at this tender stage, and for this reason, the GATE Project seek to keep girls in school. That happened to be the key reason for UNICEF to partner with Actionaid, in order for us to empower the country’s girls”
Executive Director Actionaid, Mohamed Sillah said Boys are mostly the ones being prioritised over girls, particularly in rural areas, but they believe in giving equal opportunities to all, adding that they will continue to engage pupils and parents on the importance of education.
Representatives of principals, whose schools benefitted from the donation Rev Scott Manga of the St Paul’s Junior Secondary School, thanked both Unicef and Actionaid for supporting their girls and asked for the subsequent support for boys too.
Scott Manga also urged Unicef and partners to support the government in its implementation of the school feeding program.
Deputy Director of Education, Ministry of Education, in Bo John Swarray commended Unicef and Actionaid for supporting girls in their district. A situation he described as both Unicef and Actionaid are complimenting Government’s effort in education, as he encouraged beneficiary girls to handle the items with proper care and made the best out it, to support their education.
A symbolic distribution was made to two girls each of all the 20 schools. Some of the girls expressed appreciation over the items received and promised handling them with proper care while taking their studies seriously.
The ceremony brought together the Mayor and Deputy of Bo District Council, Principals from different Junior secondary School and other stakeholders in the district.