As part of efforts to keep alive the memory of United Democratic Party (UDP) activist, Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the Sandeng family and friends on Saturday launched an initiative dubbed “The Sandeng Home Project”. The cost of the much-awaited initiative is estimated to cost over D1.8 million, and is geared towards helping the Sandeng family to get a home.
“This project is important as it will give hopes to a nine-member family. They are all below the age of 20 and are going to school,” said Muhammed Sandeng in a statement he delivered at the launching ceremony.
In April 2016, Ebrima Solo Sandeng spearheaded a protest-march, demanding for “proper electoral reforms.” The Jammeh regime mounted a full-scale crackdown that led to the arrest and torture to death of Mr. Sandeng.
Muhammed Sandeng, who is one of the sons of the late political activist, lauded what he described as “a very important endeavour” which constitutes “a befitting tribute” to his father.
“This shows the generosity of Gambians to their fellow ones,” he added, expressing gratitude to Diaspora Gambians who were instrumental in the materialisation of the project through Go-fund Me. He called on Gambians to put whatsoever amount they could as the sum they received would not be sufficient for the completion of the project.
The widow of Solo Sandeng who was overwhelmed by the event, found it difficult to express the mixed feelings she was wrestling with.
“It is true that we were saddened, but I am feeling very happy and relieved today,” Nyima Sonko said. “I feel very proud to see Gambians putting in their monies to support the family of the late Ebrima Solo Sandeng in order for them to have a home,” she said, struggling to overcome the immense joy.
She also added her voice to the chorus of commendations, adding that since the tragic death of Solo Sandeng, they have been living on rented house. “In fact, the rental fee is due to expire in two-months time. We are very worried, but thank to the salutary assistance coming from concerned Gambians,” she stated.
Speaking on behalf of Diaspora Gambians who are fully backing the project, Gambian academic Malanding Jaiteh called the event “a global effort.”
“Most of us are breathing a sigh of relief because of the efforts of Solo Sandeng and many others who lost their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today,” said Jaiteh who was among a good number of Gambians living in exile for fear of persecution.