By Cherno Omar Bobb
A reputable nurse and social entrepreneur, Fatoumatta Kassama, has been named winner of The Stone Circle Awards’ Youth Excellence Award (YEA) 2021.
The award is given in commemoration of the International Youth Day – the United Nation’s annual celebration of the role of young people in creating positive change across the world.
The Stone Circle Awards is The Gambia’s premiere youth-led and youth-focused media that puts the spotlight on young people and their invaluable contributions to self and national development.
The Youth Excellence Award is The Stone Circle Awards’ flagship initiative that annually celebrates the outstanding achievements of young people who are making significant contributions to national development. This year is the Award’s 4th edition.
Fatoumatta Kassama is a freelance nurse and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Girls’ Pride, a social enterprise that provides reusable sanitary pads, period panties, pantyliners, baby diapers, baby wipes, facemasks, sexual and reproductive health education. It also provides comic story books that address menstrual hygiene problems affecting less privileged women and girls and keep girls in schools during their periods.
She is a Registered Nurse, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant and holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Reproductive Health from The University of The Gambia. She has over seven years’ experience working as a nurse for the Ministry of Health.
Reacting to the award, Fatoumatta expressed delight at being awarded the 2021 prestigious youth award.
“I am honored and privileged to receive this award. This is a happy moment for me and my team at Girls’ Pride because we have a lot of young Gambians, especially women, doing amazing things in their communities,” she said.
The award-winning nurse extended gratitude to the Stone Circle Awards for the recognition and thanked TAF Africa Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, The Pollination Project, Global Youth Mobilization, 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows and SheTradeGambia for their support.
She concluded: “My sincere thanks to my family, friends, mentors, our partners, customers and everyone who supported us. We cannot make any impact in The Gambia without you all.”
The Managing Director of The Stone Circle Awards, Ebrima Darboe, said the award recognizes and celebrates the myriad accomplishments of our youth population, as well as rewards their contributions to national development.
“Many young people, like Fatoumatta Kassama, spend a good amount of their time volunteering for their organizations and communities without salary and even those who get paid for the works they do often receive salaries that do not commensurate with their hard work and input,” Darboe said.
The Youth Excellence Awards, he added, is therefore borne out of the need to celebrate these unsung champions and say thank you for their tremendous contributions to self, community and national development.
He said the 2021 winner, Fatoumatta, is a social solution provider whose innovation and commitment to eye health care and menstrual hygiene have impacted on the lives of an unprecedented number of Gambians.
The previous winners of the Youth Excellence Awards (YEA) include Ousainu Colley in 2020, Omar Jammeh in 2019 and Momodou Edrissa Njie in 2018.