Academy for Academics, a Sweden-based NGO on Thursday awarded scholarships to 27 students pursing various courses at the University of The Gambia. The scholarship is expected to provide learning opportunities for young people so as to enable them achieve their degrees without any hindrance.
In a Daily Observer interview at a hotel in Kotu, Margareta Danelivs, the head of the Swedish delegation and founder of the organisation, revealed that this sponsorship programme for Gambian students started in the late 1986, and was then called ‘Kololi-Gambia sponsorship’.
She said at that time they were sponsoring only nursery and primary school kids from less-privileged families, through one Marie Mendy Coker.
She maintained that along the line they realised the need to extend their programme to help students at the University of The Gambia.
Madam Danelivs explained: “Some of the issues that we put into consideration before a scholarship is awarded to a student are: the financial background, the scores [grades] of the individual and how willing the individual is to achieve a degree from the University of The Gambia,” she noted.
She pointed out that students awarded scholarships are an inspiration; hence the need to be supported. “That is why we decided to care and share with the young people of The Gambia and the gesture will continue as far as we are concerned,” she assured.
Thorbjorn Larsson, also a founder of Academy for Academics, stated that they chose The Gambia because they believe the people of this country have the context, the talent and the environment to work with them.
He revealed that they intend doing more for The Gambia, but currently they want to focus on students at the University.
Larsson thus thanked the people of the country for showing enthusiasm and a good platform to work with them.
Henrik Dahlstrand, a sponsor, who joined the Academy for Academics for the first time, expressed delight to be part of such an inspiring initiative and encouraged the awarded students to take up the challenge and leave up to expectation.
Jimmy Henry Nzally, the public relations officer of the UTG, welcomed the initiative, saying the move would go a long way towards helping the Gambian people.
Alagie Alamu, a beneficiary and a second year UTG student studying nursing, expressed similar sentiments.
by Awa Gassama &