By Sarata Jabbi
Dream Party Décor last Friday celebrated the 3rd year anniversary in supporting Join Hands to Save a Baby project in Brikama hospital, Western Region, The Gambia. The event was held in Birmingham.
In her welcoming remarks, Amie Jarju, founder and CEO for both charity said the purpose of the event is to celebrate Dream Party’s 3rd year anniversary and to raise funds, adding that 50% of funds raised would go towards building a theatre in Brikama hospital as part of Join Hands to Save a Baby project’s efforts to support the maternity unit
Amie stated that the current theatre in Brikama, situated 85 metres away from the maternity ward, is too far away, noting that a woman in need of a C-section would have to be stretchered across the hospital premises to the theatre ward without any privacy.
“When a woman is in labour every second counts as their life is at stake. At times electricity goes off during operation which is not safe at all. The situation in Gambia is worse than you can imagine. Women are suffering and some loss their lives every now and then during child birth, due to lack of proper health facility. We tend to forget about them and they don’t deserve that. We all know that it’s not okay for a child to die due to lack of oxygen. We all know that it’s not right for a woman to die during labour because their blood pressure went high without being detected. These are the reasons we should join hands together and fight for what our women deserve, which is to live like everybody else,” she lamented.
She disclosed that, she lost siblings during child birth due to lack of proper maternity equipment, saying that this is what motivated her to take this initiative. “I’m not saying their death wasn’t natural but I believe something could have been done,” she explained.
Amie went further to express the importance of girls’ education, adding that she fought for it in her family, as a result of which she and her mum were kicked out by her dad. “My dad never believed in girls’ education, and he thought my mum was the influence,” she stated.
Amie advised the gathering never to give up. “Fight for what belongs to you. Fight for what you believe in. Don’t let any situation bring you down,”
She thanked her husband for his endless support, in making her the woman she is today and finally called on all Gambians to work together for the betterment of the country.
Dr Momodou Sallah, co-founder of Global Hands, said many Gambians in the West have the means to make a difference. Admitting that although it is hard to pay bills, rent, take care of the family financially, as well as to support others back home country, he admonished the audience to do their utmost “to contribute to the development of the country as the situation in The Gambia in terms of health, education, security are challenging and the government cannot do it all.” He said that many people are in the habit of going to seek medical treatment in Senegal or other countries, while in the meantime others cannot even afford basic medication. Sallah applauded Amie for what he termed great initiative and her in the Gambian community.
Representing the Gambia High Commissioner in London, Alhajie Suntou Touray called for unity, stating that no government can guarantee unity. He added that instead government could guarantee justice, fairness and trying its best for the citizens. “What we can do as individuals collectively is to work hard to make sure we remind ourselves about some of the conditions of our people back home. We can unite our efforts, and do things similarly just like Amie and the husband are doing,” he advised.
Neneh Bojang, queen of the night, said that Amie’s story is like that of many girls in the Gambia. “We know how challenging it is to work in a community, but a pioneer will never give up and that’s what Amie is.”
She called on people to continue supporting Amie, join hands to save a baby, love each other, as well as to work together to build our country the Gambia, as nobody, she added, would do it for us. “I would like to thank Amie for honouring me with the title of “the Queen of the Night. I and my husband and my delegation are humbled,” she said.