Gambian philanthropist and businessman Momodou Turo Darboe and his foundation, VDF, were last evening conferred the Gambian of the Year Award by The Standard newspaper in a ceremony at Ocean Bay Hotel.

The Standard, The Gambia’s leading daily newspaper, in its citation for the award, singled out Mr Darboe and the Vision Development Foundation for their philanthropy and outstanding selfless service to others in over the past year.

“Their actions have brought much-needed succor to thousands of families and individuals who were reduced to penury by the virulent effects of Covid-19. The award is in recognition of their stellar humanitarian efforts that best exemplifies the truism of being our brothers’ keeper,” the newspaper noted.

The award trophy and certificate were presented to Mr Darboe by Honourable Demba Jawo, a former Information minister and veteran journalist who had worked with the initiator of the award, the late Swaebou Conateh of the Gambia News & Report Magazine.

Mr Jawo described Mr Darboe as a worthy winner and recollected that he had won the prize in 2014.

Unveiling the award, the managing director of The Standard newspaper, Sheriff Bojang, said the degree and breadth of Mr Darboe and his foundation’s humanitarian activities over the past twelve months trumped those of the others shortlisted for the awards.

The Standard editor, Lamin Cham, said Mr Darboe’s humanitarian, social and developmental out reach is unrivalled and cut across many communities and people across the country.  “The VDF is a lead institution in the delivery of much-needed services and assistance to vulnerable people. Momodou Turo has built roads, boreholes, gardens, fed the poor, equipped the police the army, civil society and religious faiths,” Mr Cham said.

He said it is the hope of the management of The Standard that Mr Darboe is fulfilled life will continue to inspire many Gambians, especially other Gambians with like means to engage in philanthropy.

“We take this opportunity to honour his humanitarian work by conferring on him this award. We are cognisant of the sacrifices, steadfastness and highly commendable contributions he continues to make in the lives of many Gambians which remain a source of inspiration and example to Gambian citizens and generations yet unborn,” he said.  

The newspaper also presented its Lamin Dibba Reporter of the Year Award to chief reporter Omar Bah and Lamin Dibba Employee of the Year Award to Demba Njie and Maline Bojang as joint winners. The D10,000 cash prizes were donated by Mr. Dibba a former Gambian journalist now resident and working in the United States. Mr. Dibba was represented at the event by Mr. Omar Bah, PhD, himself a former Gambian journalist also resides in the US. For several years Mr. Dibba has sponsored prizes to motivate reporters on the paper.

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