news

Small plaster – big effect!

Since October, the students of the Sannehmentereng Lower Basic School in Brufut have had the opportunity to have minor injuries medically treated at the school by trained specialists. Twice a week, Wolfgang and Sara, both medical professionals, connect the smaller and larger wounds of the children. Mostly they are expected by up to 20 children by the time they reach school. The injuries are mainly small wounds that occur during playing and romping. Often a thorough cleaning and disinfection, possibly an ointment and at the end a plaster are already sufficient. In this way it can be prevented that the initially small wounds lead to larger wounds and further problems, since the sand on the streets favours an inflammation of wounds. Many parents do not have the knowledge, the equipment or the financial means to care for their children’s wounds. Especially children with larger, severely infected wounds, who are treated for several weeks, benefit from the offer.   “The children and we are very happy when the wounds have finally healed and the treatment is completed”, the two report.

Before Wolfgang and Sara’s stay in Gambia ends in December, they will train interested teachers in the initial treatment of minor wounds and other health issues so that the bright girls and boys at school can continue to receive medical wound care.

We would like to thank Wolfgang (who did an internship at the school a few years ago) and Sara for the great help!!

3rd photo evening Gambia “up close”

Despite the summer holidays, almost 50 visitors came to the 3rd photo evening of The Gambia “up close” in the Lebensart Cafe in Dortmund. Reports from our school in Brufut and Sintet as well as many small stories from on the way were followed with great attention. During the break Miriam Lehmann collected donations for sewn items of our tailoring or for the honey brought from Gambia. We were again supported by the drummers around Anke Filipiak. We are especially happy about three new memberships.
Further information among other things a small film compilation deposited with the new association anthem of the Gambianer to the 20-year old association anniversary finds you on Heike Hagemann´s Blog https://gambia-dortmund.de

Soccer is for everyone

As soon as the Gambian children and men have a football in front of them, no matter where, they kick. Also in Raigering (district Amberg) football is successfully played in the Pandurenpark. The youth handed over discarded jersey sets and footballs to Socialis for The Gambia e.V., which are then handed over to football teams and enthusiastic footballers in Gambia.

Rainer Ehbauer on the left handed over the jerseys and balls to Thomas März-Kronfeld, Bild Mitte, with the children of the F youth.

Women only – a garden for women

A newly established women’s garden on the property of the training centre in Sintet, The Gambia, enables more than 15 women to grow fruit and vegetables independently.
Despite a large school garden, there was still unused space on the extensive grounds where the Socialis for The Gambia e.V. association has already set up an agricultural school and a tailor’s shop. At the request of the inhabitants of Sintet village, this area is now being made available to committed women who can grow fruit and vegetables there for their own needs and for sale on the market. Through the proceeds, the women can contribute a part to the livelihood of their families. A drilled well hole with pump and elevated tank supplies the entire property with water, so that the plants can also be watered outside the rainy season. The yields are also independent of the actual irrigation system in the village, which sometimes carries inedible water.
The women are now overjoyed to be able to cultivate their own bed in the women’s garden and come daily to sow, water and care for the various plants. From November, the first tomatoes, onions or sweet potatoes can be harvested. Since the rainy season in Gambia did not begin until August this year, instead of June as usual, the harvesting season is also postponed by a few weeks. Nevertheless, everyone is looking forward to a good harvest.
In addition to the women’s garden, the training centre has also reopened after the summer holidays. This school year 10 agricultural students will start their training. The tailoring has 20 trainees.
Thanks to Techniker ohne Grenzen Amberg, a modern sanitary facility in the form of a dry toilet is also available on the property.

Gambia always worth a visit!

Someone once said, “Once Gambia and then never again or it won’t let you go.”
The second is true for me, because now it was my third Gambia trip and I would love to plan the next one again. After each of the past trips, my statement was: “No, I won’t go on a group trip anymore”. But what can I say, after this one in June, with the great troop and the many warm people who accompanied us on site, there will certainly be another one in the coming years.

Since my focus was very much on our projects and the anniversary celebration at our school, I would like to briefly tell you about these two experiences. A detailed travel report of the country and its people and the small round trip will follow.

Now that the group of 20 people, later 22, had arrived on Friday, June 7th, we settled down in our hotel. On Saturday everyone tried to arrive mentally and to explore the surroundings. Around noon two tailors came to the hotel to measure us all, because it is a tradition in Gambia that all those who celebrate together show togetherness by wearing the same fabrics. Since in 6 days the anniversary celebration should take place at our school, we were curious what Haruna, our instructor, in the tailoring and Fatou, the wife of our coordinator Hatab, would conjure up for us.

On Sunday we started our little round trip to get to know the country and its people. But there will be an extra report, because I leave this to a “newcomer” from the group. Only so much of me: since I was here for the third time, as I said, I saw the progress that happened, even though poverty was still visible everywhere. Since we were just before the rainy season, I was very surprised how many tourists were still on the way and how well the hotels were visited. The direct flights to Gambia, which started in spring, are bearing fruit. I only hope that this development goes in the right direction and doesn’t end in “single flights”.

Our first stop was Sintet, 150 km inland. There we were given a warm welcome and to my surprise I was able to hand over certificates and a sewing machine to the fully trained seamstresses. This already triggered a good feeling and also some pride in me, if one can contribute a part to give young people an independence. Afterwards the property and the recently developed women’s garden were visited. At 40 degrees we all looked for a shady place and waited for the food, which was prepared by the tailors and the women from the village for all traditionally on an open fire. Some of the group tried their hand as “assistant cooks”.

In the late afternoon I left the group with many new impressions to drive back to the hotel with Waltraud, Lamin and Samba. During the next two days I wanted to support our teachers at the school in their preparations for the festival.
When Hatab picked me up from the hotel the next day, I was very excited and a little nervous about what it’s like to go to school alone. The warm welcome of the director and individual teachers quickly took away my nervousness. I also noticed immediately that no matter in which country a celebration is prepared, there is the same hectic and hustle and bustle everywhere. There was brushing, painting, setting up tents, dragging chairs, running back and forth, giving lessons, singing, practicing dances and much more that makes a party.

In this well-rehearsed hustle and bustle I felt somewhat out of place and so I retired to our creative house with a few students. Together we made flowers out of sandwich paper, which were then hung in the tents. At the end, the children proudly presented their work. I also had a lot of fun being a part of the whole for a short time.

What we were offered on Thursday put everything in the shade that I had ever experienced at school parties in Gambia. By the way, our clothes and shirts fit perfectly, except for a few small things. It was a great feeling to be one with all the staff! Impressive was also this stately number of children and parents to see, approximately 800-900 persons. What was a special joy was that about 20 former pupils helped to shape the celebration. Full of pride they presented themselves with printed T-shirts as “ex-students”.

When the official part of the greeting, the review of the club’s history and the many speeches were over, the students greeted us with their own “Welcome in Sannehmentereng” song. Dances followed, a theatre play about the everyday life of a family that wants to offer its children a better future and cannot afford it. If it weren’t for the neighbours that tells of a Nursery and Lowerbasic School where anyone can go…Impressive performance!

Then loud applause and roaring from the audience attracted our attention. A song was played in the background and a young man started singing and dancing. As it turned out, he was a former student who is already a well-known rapper in Gambia. The evening before he had quickly composed a “hymn of praise” to the school and all the teachers and had performed that day. Which in retrospect gives me goose bumps. Also our Skillcenter with the tailors and hairdressers showed an impressive presentation of their braided hairstyles and sewn clothes at a fashion show!

Of course, honours could not be missing at a jubilee celebration and so we could honour the long-standing affiliation of all employees, especially those who could already look back on 19 or 20 years of co-designing. Each of the staff received a certificate, a polo shirt with club logo and, important for the whole family, a bag of rice. From our campaign “A Heart for Gambia” our participants distributed more than 700 painted hearts (which we carried in our suitcases) to all the children. We had to make sure that each of us got out of the action safe and sound.

In retrospect, it is not easy to write about something in which feelings play an important role. I can only say this much: The dedication and effort in all the preparations, the cooking for so many people, the many hours practicing with the students…. at the end of the event nobody had thought about it anymore. Everyone went home with a happy face and in a party mood.

A longtime member of our association, who already made the first group trip with me in 2004, wanted to see the progress after 15 years and was there again. With her statement I would like to end this report. She said: “You know Karin: It makes me a bit proud to have made a contribution and to be a part of this community. Let us burn for it again and carry it on! that tells of a Nursery and Lowerbasic School where anyone can go…Impressive performance!

Then loud applause and roaring from the audience attracted our attention. A song was played in the background and a young man started singing and dancing. As it turned out, he was a former student who is already a well-known rapper in Gambia. The evening before he had quickly composed a “hymn of praise” to the school and all the teachers and had performed that day. Which in retrospect gives me goose bumps. Also our Skillcenter with the tailors and hairdressers showed an impressive presentation of their braided hairstyles and sewn clothes at a fashion show!

Of course, honours could not be missing at a jubilee celebration and so we could honour the long-standing affiliation of all employees, especially those who could already look back on 19 or 20 years of co-designing. Each of the staff received a certificate, a polo shirt with club logo and, important for the whole family, a bag of rice. From our campaign “A Heart for Gambia” our participants distributed more than 700 painted hearts (which we carried in our suitcases) to all the children. We had to make sure that each of us got out of the action safe and sound.

In retrospect, it is not easy to write about something in which feelings play an important role. I can only say this much: The dedication and effort in all the preparations, the cooking for so many people, the many hours practicing with the students…. at the end of the event nobody had thought about it anymore. Everyone went home with a happy face and in a party mood.

A longtime member of our association, who already made the first group trip with me in 2004, wanted to see the progress after 15 years and was there again. With her statement I would like to end this report. She said: “You know Karin: It makes me a bit proud to have made a contribution and to be a part of this community. Let us burn for it again and carry it on!

Your Karin Neumüller

Close Menu