The Salikenni Scholarship Fund is managed in The Gambia by a board composed entirely of our senior students and alumni. All of them have been educated through SSF and are now giving back to keep it going for younger students.
The board is headed by Ousman B.Y. Jarju, 29, a graduate of the program. He grew up in Salikenni and attended primary school there. We took him into the program in 2001, when he was in eighth grade at the village school. His father, a farmer, was unable to keep up with the school fees. We sponsored Ousman through high school and through several years studying accounting at a local business college. In 2010 he was hired by the Gambian government as an accountant. While working full-time, he attended classes at the University of The Gambia at night and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is married, with two young childen. As manager in The Gambia he is the only board member on salary.
The other board members, and their areas of responsibility are:
Amadou Njie, in March 2014, became the first SSF student to receive a bachelor’s degree — his subject is economics — from the University of The Gambia. SSF had sponsored him since seventh grade. After graduation, he taught economics at a local high school. He now has a job with Standard Chartered Bank in Banjul, the capital city. On the board, his job is to work with SSF students in the metropolitan area.
Abdoulie Bah, from the village of Dobo, this year completed four years at the University of The Gambia under our sponsorship, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has begun an internship at Gambia Telecommunications and is also farming as a business in the Dobo area. His job on the board is to work with our students in Salikenni.
Mariama Ceesay, 23, is now in her fourth year at the University of The Gambia’s medical school. We paid for her first year there. Then she received a Gambian government scholarship for the remainder of the seven-year medical program. She is one of two board members working with SSF’s girls.
Fatoumata Fatty, 22, is the other board member with responsibility for girls in the program. She is in her third year at the university, working for a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Modou Lamin Darboe, 22, known as Lamin, has just completed a bachelor’s degree in economics at the university. He’s the board’s financial bookkeeper. He teaches economics and business management at a high school.
Omar Jallow, 22, is in the third year of a four-year program leading to a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the university. On the board, he’s in charge of keeping track of the academic results of SSF students.
Mustapha K. Darboe, 25, is the board’s communications officer. He writes the minutes of meetings and periodic reports on SSF activities. We sponsored Mustapha through middle school, high school and journalism school at a local college. He’s a senior reporter for Today, a newspaper in The Gambia, writing about politics and human rights.