The poverty relief charity Penny Appeal has raised a serious incident report with the Charity Commission after reports of a safeguarding issue at a local community-based organisation in Gambia.
The charity was set up in 2009 to provide poverty relief in Asia, the Middle East and Africa by offering water solutions, organising mass feedings, supporting orphan care and providing emergency food and medical aid.
In a statement on its website the charity said that on 13 August it was made aware of an alleged safeguarding issue in Gambia at a local community-based organisation supported by a partner organisation, Penny Appeal Gambia.
The statement said: “As an organisation, we are truly horrified at the allegations. Protecting children and young people from harm is of the highest possible level of importance to us.
“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.”
The charity said it had commissioned a full and independent investigation into the incident, and had made contact with the relevant authorities in Gambia.
It has also informed the Charity Commission by raising a serious incident report.
“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 posted as the investigation is underway,” said the charity’s statement.