The Gambian government closed down a Penny Appeal orphanage in Yarambamba on August 12 after an investigation found cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Penny Appeal UK issued the following statement on Friday August 14:
“On 13th August 2020 Penny Appeal became aware of an alleged safeguarding issue in Gambia at a local community based organisation supported by our partner organisation, Penny Appeal Gambia.
“As an organisation, protecting children and young people from harm is of the highest possible level of importance. We recognise and accept our responsibility to ensure our partners provide an environment which promotes the safety of our beneficiaries, especially young people, at all times.
“We are committed to demonstrating the highest standards of behaviour and humanitarian practice and thus have commissioned an immediate independent investigation into all related matters and are engaging the relevant authorities.
“Issues pertaining to safeguarding are treated with the utmost level of seriousness. Further information will be available on conclusion of the investigatory process.”