By Ndey Sowe
As the Nafa Programme enrolment continues in the remaining 17 districts across the country, beneficiaries in North Bank Region (NBR) have expressed their elation for being enroled into the programme.
Most of the beneficiaries also said the project will help them create backyard gardens, while some added that it will assist them to venture into rearing of small ruminants, which will serve them even when the project ends.
Amie Mbye and Ndey Faal, all beneficiares at Dibba Kunda Wolof, welcomed the project with much enthusiasm and gratititude as it comes to enhance their livelihoods.
“We have also benefitted from a training on how to use the money,” one of the beneficiaries added.
The Nafa Programme is a combination of Cash Transfer and Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC), which is being implemented in phases. The first phase involved three districts, Foni Bintang in the West Coast Region, Nianija in the Central River Region, and Wuli West in the Upper River Region.
The project is now rolling out to the remaining 17 districts across the country.
The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), Department of Community Development and Directorates of Social Welfare are implementing the Nafa Programme as part of The Gambia Social Safety Net project, which aims to strengthen the coordination of social assistance activities and increase the inclusion of the extremely poor.
Yusupha Jawo, a NaNA Regional Field Officer based in Farafenni overseeing the whole of North Bank East Region, in an interview at Dibba Kunda Wolof, said they were able to enrol beneficiaries from four communities in one day, producing 60 beneficiaries comprising two teams.
“Today, we are on the enrolment too and some of the communities are large. We are at a big community and we are expecting 80 beneficiaries in Dibba Kunda Wolof,” Mr Jawo.
When asked about challenges they face, Mr Jawo cited the limited officials that participated in the pre-enrolment and validation (endorsing beneficiary households list) process, adding that the village stakeholders were engaged to verify those households that exists within the community and also verify that they are the right household beneficiaries.
Mr Jawo explained that each household has a separate identification number.
“We are encouraging men to empower women to be the principal driver of cohesive social and behavioural orientation that promotes peaceful coexistence. We feel that women are compassionate and patient and that they are more enthusiatic to the health and education sector, making us priortise women for the Social and Behavioural Change Communication tool.
“The women usually perform most of their work at home, and that it will be beneficial if it is delivered to them,” Jawo added.
Ida Joof, an official from the Directorate of Social Welfare, said the enrolment on Thursday, June 17, 2020 will be conducted in the field and that it will last for 17 days. In explaining the challenges in the enrolment process, Joof indicated that they have not faced much challenges yet, but they are having issues of people not knowing their day of birth.
Madam Joof emphasised that the money is not meant for an individual, but for the entire household, noting that the project intends to lift them from poverty. She advised that the project will not be here forever and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the money.
Ousman Dem, Programme Manager of NaNA at the Social and Behavioural Change Department, said the Nafa Programme is in two main folds; social and behavioural change community and cash transfer.
In preparing the cash transfer, he said they first applied the Proxy Means Test (PMT) in order to enrol beneficiaries, and that a list of potential beneficiaries was given to them.
“We took this list to the communities through a participatory process; validate the list and we gave them a grace period of two weeks, so that if they have any grievances regarding the list, they can forward it to us,” Dem highlighted.
“This validated list is what we are using to do the enrolment or registration. And for every household that is validated, [they]sent in two people, preferably women and that one will be a principal recipient and the other will be a pro-creator (alternative).”