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The First Lady and her endeavors to improve the quality of life for African children
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The First Lady and her endeavors to improve the quality of life for African children

Her Excellency the First Lady of The Gambia, Madam Zineb Jammeh, is one of the strongest advocates and fighter for children’s rights, not just in The Gambia but also throughout the entire West African region. She is the chairperson and the founder of the Operation Save the Children Foundation, or OSCF. The First Lady herself launched the foundation in November 2014. Through the Foundation, The First Lady seeks to protect children from abuse and exploitation and to provide them access to health care, education and social services.

Her Excellency Zineb Jammeh has been helping children and mothers of Gambia long before 2014. Back in 1999, Madam Zineb Jammeh launched the operation Save a Baby using the slogan “the baby you save may be your own”. Seeing the conditions that mothers and newborns were in, the First Lady has been donating gifts and supporting mothers in every way possible for the last fifteen years. The Operation Save a Baby was an absolute success, and encouraged the First Lady and her supporters to start an even bigger operation called Operation Save the Children Foundation.

The challenges that children in Sub-Saharan Africa face on a daily basis are numerous.

Being a devoted mother herself, Madam Zineb Jammeh has always felt the urge to help those in need. In her sincere quest to truly raise the standards of living for children in Gambia, Madam Zineb Jammeh has adopted a holistic approach to this issue rather than helping in just one area.

First and foremost, The First Lady addresses immediate health concerns of children including infectious diseases like measles and rubella. In April 2016, the First Lady of The Gambia made a surprise visit to the West African International School in Bakau to witness and help out the start of the immunization process of children against infectious diseases Rubella and Measles as well as to express her support. During that visit, the Gambia’s First Lady also donated 200.000 dalasi to the Bakau’s West African International School.

Secondly, all African countries are faced with the challenge of child marriage, and Gambia is no exception to this rule. With that in mind, the First Lady and her Operation Save the Children Foundation along with The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare launched an operation to put an end to this. “End Child Marriage Campaign” was officially launched in Ethiopia in 2014.

Madam Zineb Jammeh’s interest in the wellbeing of her people, particularly children, has inspired many. The activities of the First Lady have given her the opportunity to see the problems first-hand and gain a deeper understanding of what needs to be done. For this reason, Her Excellency the First Lady of The Gambia is one of the most important figures in the entire region of Africa, and her kind actions have saved many lives and earned her the love and respect of many people around the globe.

Samba Sanyang

Gambian in the Diaspora

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