Statement Regarding The Gambia
In recent days we learned of horrific reports from the Gambia concerning abuse at orphan facilities supported by Penny Appeal UK and funded by Penny Appeal member offices. This came as a shock to us all.
We are deeply saddened and concerned by these horrific allegations. They violate everything we believe in as an organization and as committed humanitarians.
Penny Appeal USA welcomes today’s statement by Penny Appeal UK outlining the rapid steps they are taking to ensure they get to the bottom of this serious matter and to act in response to reports in The Gambia, as well as to ensure greater diligence and assurance across its global programs.
The actions include an international agency undertaking work to cooperate and support crucial investigations and engage with the Gambian government – and quadrupling their resources devoted to safeguarding globally. They are also arranging an independent root and branch review of safeguarding arrangements across all operations.
You can read their full statement here: https://pennyappeal.org/news/safeguarding-gambia-update
Our priority as an organization is the safety and well-being of our beneficiaries. Nothing matters to us more.
In the days and weeks to come we will be working hard to ensure we too strengthen our own processes and will take all and any necessary action upon the completion of the investigation.
As part of our on-going dedication to transparency and accountability, we commit to open communication with you as we learn more.
Statement Regarding Gambia Incident
On 13th August 2020 Penny Appeal USA became aware of an alleged safeguarding incident in Gambia at a local community-based organization supported by our partner organizations, Penny Appeal UK and Penny Appeal Gambia.
While we have no information regarding the nature or extent of these allegations, we are gravely concerned. Protecting children and young people from harm is of the highest importance to us. We recognize and accept our responsibility to ensure our partners provide an environment which promotes the safety of all our beneficiaries, especially young people, at all times.
We welcome the commissioning by Penny Appeal UK of a full and independent investigation into all related matters.
Pending outcomes of this investigation, we have temporarily frozen all funding for orphan related projects in The Gambia.
All safeguarding concerns are treated with the highest level of seriousness and priority. Our primary concern has and will always be the wellbeing of those in need.
Further updates will be provided once the investigation is underway.
Penny Appeal USA