Penny Appeal – The Gambia has been temporary closed for “operating and managing orphanages illegally.”

The orphanage temporary suspension comes after a joint investigation on its work in The Gambia. 

The investigation was jointly done by National Child Protection Committee under the auspices of the Department of Social Welfare instituted a Taskforce comprising of the Police Child Welfare Unit, Department of Social Welfare, the Child Rights Unit of the Ministry of Justice and the Child Protection Alliance to conduct investigations on matters relating to the welfare of children in these facilities.

“The initial investigation has unveiled that Penny Appeal was illegally operating and managing its orphanages in The Gambia without following the due process of registration  as required under Section 198 of the Children’s Act 2005 (1): No person shall manage or operate a child-care centre or a private residential care home without a permit granted by the Department under this section.      

“It is against this background that the general public is informed that Penny Appeal -The Gambia is hereby temporarily  closed with immediate effect pending the outcome of  the full investigation relating to exploitation of children, sexual abuse and other child protection matters,” the group said in a statement.

“The Department of Social Welfare is currently working with the Management of Penny Appeal The  Gambia towards reuniting the children with their families.

“The Department of Social Welfare wishes to remind the general public that it is a duty on all of us to report instances where child rights are being violated or where an individual or institution having the custody of a child is not providing the necessary care to the child,” the statement added.

Penny Appeal is a U.K. based charity and in 2018 the organisation opened an orphanage in the West Coast region sponsored by British Boxer Amit Khan. 

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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