The three projects we have undertaken in 2013-14 are
Ndagan at Wenchu [Ndagan Water Project completed] Ongoing commitment to the children in the area.
Hart House at Sinchu Alhajie Village Kombo North and
Busura (Marakissa Ward) a bush Village
Ndagan In 2014 we completed work on the pipeline for the people of Ndagan, a slum on the borders of the city of Banjul. The people of Ndagan live in abject poverty, their only source of income coming from the nearby mangrove swamps from which they harvest and sell oysters on the streets of the city. Installing this pipeline, which will be fully operational by the end of June 2014, is a massive milestone as it allows the residents of Ndagan to have safe, clean drinking water which they don't have to travel long distances for. This will significantly reduce disease in the settlement, particularly among the children, and allow for much better health and sanitation. Next, we feel it is important to make sure all of Ndagan's children have a good education. In the coming year, we will be looking at setting up a sponsorship scheme for the children, so they can afford school fees, uniform and stationary when their parents and guardians could not afford it otherwise.
Hart House was set up in 2001 by British-born Geoff Hunwicks, and provides care, educational support and love for physically and mentally disabled children in the Gambia. Due to the combination of poverty and mixed cultures in the Gambia, disabled children are often neglected by their families or poorly cared for. Hart House takes on around 30 children at different times of the year to allow both children and families a break, the children taking part in educational classes with support workers, engaging in group activities, being monitored on their progress in areas such as reading and communication and socialising with children with similar disabilities to themselves, allowing lasting friendships to be made. We decided to support Hart House as Geoff has told us of the increasing trouble he is having to fund the home, such as with finding the right resources, paying staff, and maintaining the house itself. The children of Hart House are brave and delightful, and all donations made, whether monetary or of resources such as toys and books will be greatly appreciated and used for an extremely worthy cause.
Busura We first visited Busura in April 2013, where the women of the village told us of the plight they have encountered in recent years due to lack of rainfall. The women work tirelessly all year round producing crops in their gardens with which they feed the entire community - but recently, growing these crops and maintaining the gardens has become an ever-increasing struggle as the weather has become warmer and there has been less rain. Without the crops grown by the women, the villagers have to pay for outside food which they cannot afford, causing them to fall into hunger and malnutrition which is especially prevalent among the children. The women of Busura need a well for their gardens, from which they can receive the vital water supply they need to feed their families.