5-year strategic plan for OSCF developed

The Operation Save the Children Foundation (OSCF) officials and key stakeholders yesterday converged at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa to review the 5-year strategic plan (2016-2020) of the Foundation.

This daylong seminar, which also brought together concerned institutions and departments, is the third such convergence by the Foundation over the past months.

The First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, Her Excellency Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh set up the Foundation in 2014 with the objectives to provide full protection of, including health, education and social needs of children; protect children from all forms of abuse and exploitation; ensure all children start going to school at the right time and age; provide full funding for the children’s basic education; prevent malnutrition among children and ensure all children have full parental care they deserve including orphans.

The draft strategic plan will be presented to the executive board of directors of OSCF, chaired by First Lady for approval. The documents will be used as a working tool by the Foundation in implementing its programme of activities within this period in addressing issues of children of The Gambia.

The draft plan outlines the values and activities of the Foundation for the coming years with detailed analysis of what has gone on since inception as well as the resources and other things needed to deliver the strategy.

The OSCF, which is a non-governmental organisation, has added to the already existing numerous health and women-led initiatives by Madam Jammeh in complementing government’s broad empowerment programmes.

Sheriff Gomez, Almamy Fanding Taal, Habib Drammeh, consultants from African Development Group (ADG) led the discussions, as stakeholders review the strategic document page after page in order to come up with a solid blue-print for the Foundation. They had their final inputs incorporated into the document to make it more appealing.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Fatou Mass Jobe, executive director of the Foundation said: “Through a participatory process, we articulated a vision, mission and core values. We developed the foundation’s logical model, which includes the target outcomes at the short, medium and long-term levels for the strategy period 2016-2020.”

The plan, she added, is organised around 3 goals: eradicate all forms of child abuse, violence and exploitation of children; ensure all children are healthy, educated, and have the appropriate parental care they deserve; and strengthen the capacity of the foundation and partners to be able to achieve their desired goals and that these goals touch each of the three pillars of OSCF.

The 5-year plan, according to her, is key to the foundation’s long-term success as it re-defined the goals; focus on energy and resources on three programme areas.

Madam Jobe said the implementation plan will help to build forward momentum which will continue to build an ultimately result in a foundation that has noticeably improved in its efforts to complement the efforts of the Government of The Gambia, and will demonstrate commitment to staff and “put smiles on the faces of Gambia children.

However, she indicated: “An endeavour of this magnitude could not have been successful without the encouragement, support, advice and guidance of Her Excellency, the First Lady and Chairperson, OSCF, who is passionate about this work. Her Excellency’s commitment to women and children of the Gambian is unquestionable and admirable.”

While thanking the executive board members for their support and guidance, Jobe expressed gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa for his government’s stance against any form of child abuse and violence against children. “The Office of the President provided all the logistics required during the various stages of the strategic plan. Our deepest appreciation and thanks to you our partners. You provided invaluable guidance and input throughout the strategic planning process. Without your inputs and recommendations throughout the various stages of this project, we would not have been able to move forward in the development of a strategic plan for OSCF.”

He informed the stakeholders and partners that once the plan is endorsed by the First Lady and Chairperson of the OSCF and executive board of directors, the plan will be used as guidance to the management of OSCF and protection of children of The Gambia.

Also present at the meeting was Fatoumata Gassama, deputy permanent secretary at the Office of the First Lady, who also serves as an assistant to the OSCF executive director.