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Letter to members spring 2019

For you, dear members, the news of the last half year summarized.
January to May 2019
We would like to thank all the helpers for their participation in the various stands during the Christmas season!

During the Christmas holidays the kitchen and the two school buildings Bruder Konrad Block and Future Block were completely covered. The costs for the renovation, which was urgently needed as the roof beams were already very dilapidated, amounted to 6,000 €. The roof of the Schneider building in Sintet was also repaired.

The Skill Center Brufut organized a trip to the Skill Center Sintet. The schoolgirls were very pleased about the two-hour journey by bus. They had even prepared a play for their colleagues in Sintet. Everyone benefited from the visit and the exchange of ideas. A meal together, a visit to the school and music rounded the whole thing off. This was a good advertisement for our training in Sintet, as the school was also open to outsiders.

The Gambians are proud of the first bridge over the Gambia River near Farafeni. It was inaugurated in January.

At the school there were some trips to historical places, the airport and the beach. There was also a sports festival and Independence Day.

During their stay in Gambia in March, Technik ohne Grenzen constructed two flush toilets at the Brufut Skill Centre and two dry toilets at the Sintet training site.
The projects were completely organised by Regina, Adelheid and Daniel von TeoG. Everything was financed by the Rotary Club of Amberg, to whom we would like to express our sincere thanks.

In Amberg on March 16th the 20th anniversary of the club was celebrated with a big ceremony in the Musikomm. More information can be found on the homepage www. soc-gambia.de

The harvest season begins in Sintet. The picture shows our agricultural teacher Lamin Jammeh, who does a very good job.
Waltraud is still on site until June and supports the tailoring department and the agricultural school with ideas and advice as well as organisational and accounting matters and sends a lot of information to Germany.

The school in Gambia is very happy to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the association with many visitors from Germany during the Whitsun holidays.

New toilets in Gambia

In february / march the TwB members Regina Fischer and Adelheid Gonschorek of the regional group in Amberg travels together with Daniel Butkaitis of the regional group in Rottenburg to Gambia for three weeks. In this small westafricant country with a population of nearly two million inhabitants the organisation „Socialis of The Gambia“ works since twenty years on a better future for the children and the youth at the localities Sintet and Brufut. With Technology without borders as an organisation for sustainable development work, a cooperation to work together was founded in 2017, to build a dry toilet at the skill center in the rural Sintet. This toilet can benefit the hygienic situation without the use of a canalisation system or a water supply. Dry toilets works by separating urine and feaces. Both can be used after hygienization and composting measures as fertilizer for the plants of the agricultural class at the skill center – that’s the idear of the project. After a first journey to Gambia in May 2018 to get the gambian project partners known, the toilets now were built, sponsored by the Rotary Club Amberg. Althought the project starts with some time delays and the very hot days of 40 °C, the three TwB members of Germany coordinates the local partners and workers and improvise when materials were missing. Now they are hoping, that the toilets will be used enought to produce a useful amount of fertilizer. As a second part of the project, a normal pit latrin was built in the bigger village Brufut, which is now used by around 40 pupils of the skill center there. In the further communication with the project partner, it will be shown if the toilets are accepted and makes the hygienic situation at the schools better. For sure all the project partners learned a lot about intercultural communication.

Adelheid Gonschorek, adelheid-gon@gmx.de, Regionalgruppe Amberg

A special Event: 20 year anniversary

Now there are only a few days left and the long planned anniversary celebration on 16 March 2019 in the Musikomm Amberg will take place. Almost two years ago, when Karin Neumüller first mentioned the idea of such a big celebration in the board of directors, she not only received positive feedback.

Nevertheless and thank God, we decided to celebrate 20 years of club history in this way. In many meetings of the board crew the planning of the celebration was an item on the agenda. Working groups were formed and persons responsible for the various tasks were appointed.

Many helpers, including those outside the board team, worked together in advance. This was e.g. to prepare the elaborate chronicle of 20 years of association history in word and picture for movable walls, to send many invitations to all, which we wanted to welcome gladly on our celebration and to find the suitable external framework. We also cook food, buy drinks, organize cake and finger food, set up the stand of the association, make the hall and the foyer beautiful and inviting, provide enough helpers for the kitchen, drinks and cake buffet and much more.

Last but not least, an attractive program with an official ceremony had to be put on the feet. Karin Neumüller had already been able to win the award-winning vocal ensemble VOX AETERNA for a benefit concert as a highlight of our celebration at the very beginning of our planning. The Lord Mayor of Amberg, Michael Cerny, promised his patronage, District Administrator Richard Reisinger also announced his visit and, of course, many others, standing in the public life of Amberg and the district of Amberg-Sulzbach, promised to come.

And then it was there, the feast day. Many helpers came already at 10.00 o’clock in the morning into the Musikomm and started the many preparatory works. It was really a nice feeling and you could see how well the board team is working together. The helpers were assigned tasks in a very organized way, so that the usual confusion did not occur when preparing such a big event. Everything went like clockwork. It turned out: Good planning leads directly to the goal! Around 13.00 clock everything was prepared and one said goodbye, in order to refresh itself for the anniversary.

Only about one hour later they were back on site. One last time everything talked through, the helpers of the Pfadindern Ammersricht (without whom we would have been really thrown out) instruct in their tasks the technology again check and already the first guests came.

It was very pleasing that already in the afternoon so many people came to us and filled their time with following the really nice and informative designed club chronicle, to look at the woodcarvings and sewing shops from Gambia at the club stand and also to take one or the other piece home against a donation. So the foyer gradually filled up with invited and interested guests, one enjoyed coffee and cake or even a glass of sparkling wine. And they used the time to get into conversation with each other. A really informal and entertaining get-together, until then at about 17.00 o’clock, after a champagne reception, the official part of the celebration began.

The executive committee members as well as many of the aids exchanged the blue association T-Shirts against colorful Gambian garments and entered the hall only then, when all further guests had already taken place.
The executive committees Karin Neumueller and Christine Weigl welcomed all present ones and many by name and also not by name honorary guests mentioned and asked the patron mayor Michael Cerny, represented by second mayor Martin Prussia to speak a greeting word. Mr. Preuß took over this gladly, also in the name of the present district administrator Mr. Reisinger and the mayor of the municipality Gebenbach, Mr. Peter Dotzler. Of course, the board members gladly accepted the presented “flat gifts”. Then Conny Siebenbürger as representative of the “Projekthilfe Dr. Luppa e.V.” took the floor and expressed greetings and congratulations and thanked for the cooperation of both associations for many years.

Subsequently, Christine Weigl reviewed the 20 year history of the association from the beginning in words and pictures for all those present. It was impressive how the association managed over the years to build one school building after the other in Brufut and to expand the school more and more. Afterwards interns of the past years told very lively and entertaining about their experiences during the months in Gambia and at our school “Sannehmentereng”.

Afterwards, Christine Weigl reviewed the 20 year history of the association from the beginning in words and pictures for all present. It was impressive how the association managed over the years to build one school building after the other in Brufut and to expand the school more and more. Afterwards interns of the past years told very lively and entertaining about their experiences during the months in Gambia and at our school “Sannehmentereng”.

Again and again during the ceremony the many helpers and sponsors as well as members were highlighted who have been supporting us actively and financially in our association work for years and decades. Even a founding member from the 1st hour could be welcomed. He had not shied away from travelling from Munich for the anniversary. We very much hope that our thanks have really arrived with all of them.

After the ceremony the heads were full and the stomachs empty. One went to the bar to enjoy a good portion of the again delicious Domodas or also the vegetarian vegetable variant with a tasty slice of Tapalapa. And who did not want to eat warm had a large selection of finger food, which had something to offer for every taste.
Again there were many conversations and many beautiful moments and the feel-good level of all guests was very, very high in my opinion.

In the meantime, Lord Mayor Michael Cerny had arrived and had joined the guests. We were really very proud that the city of Amberg showed us by the presence of both mayors that our association in Amberg is perceived positively and that our work finds recognition. It was also a great honour that District Administrator Reisinger had taken time for our anniversary.

Now it was time for the musical highlight of the day:
VOX AETERNA had sung her way onto the stage with the song “Der Ewige Kreis” (“The eternal circle”) from the musical “König der Löwen” (“The Lion King”). An entertaining evening with brilliantly performed pieces from many different genres began. The singers are all former students of the Max-Reger-Gymnasium Amberg and each one of them has a solo voice. It was really great that these artists agreed to sing for us free of charge on this evening and that all donations they received were made available to the association. It’s a pity that our invitation to the concert was not accepted by even more listeners.

In the end, all that remained for the board members was to thank all the active people in front of and behind the stage and to say goodbye to the guests with the wish for further solidarity with our association.

When all the guests had left, they all helped together again, because the Musikomm was already booked the next morning again for an event. The evening ended with a small “drink with leftovers” and the board team and the helpers sitting together. Thank God it was done, it was worth the work and we have received enough donations that we do not have to burden the club’s cash with the costs for this celebration.

The meeting confirmed the executive committee shank in your work and energized to continuing. We have noticed that “Socialis for The Gambia e.V.” is now a well-known institution in Amberg which receives positive encouragement and support from many sides. We hope that this will continue to be the case.

Three weeks in a another world – three weeks in Afrika

First time out of Germany.

The first time without family and friends within reach.

The first flight …and then directly to Africa.

“Did you perhaps overestimate yourself a little?”

There are not even houses here …at least nothing that I would call houses. Semi-finished building ruins, corrugated iron huts and everywhere so frightening a lot of garbage.

I had imagined it differently.

At the beginning of my planned semester in The Gambia I found – to be honest – everything quite horrible. The garbage, the stench, the heat. At the beginning I didn’t know how well I would get along with Pierre-Victor, James, Manlafi, Mamie and the other teachers at Sannehmentereng School. That we would celebrate together in the evening, eating and going to church. And that they would quickly become not only super committed colleagues for me, but first and foremost good friends with whom I still have contact.

Another good friend is Wandi, who took us in his taxi to the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Joyehto’s Beach Bar is the name of the beach bar where he works. There are palm trees, huge shells, sunsets right behind the ocean and waves up to three meters high. On some days you should even see dolphins.

I would never have thought how hard it would be in the beginning to get my way in Grade 1 and Nursery 1 against 35 noisy, turned up and partly not a word of English speaking kids. And I never would have thought how much they would grow on me in the short time and how hard it would be for me to say goodbye again.

The trainee house with the birds under the roof, the flexible power supply, the permanently clogged shower, the giant insects that somehow always found their way through the mosquito screens and the ant colony under the oven, with which we fought a constant war for our food, has also become a bit like a home. Just like Lamin and Ibrima, our Watchmen, who chivalrously protected us from all insects, became a bit like family.

Like family is Hatab, the coordinator, who was always there for us and without whom we would really have been lost in the first week.

After 3 weeks, 6 months earlier than planned, we are sitting in the plane back to Germany. Too early. The time here was too short. I could have done so much more and experienced so much more.

I had imagined it differently.

Photo Evening Experience Gambia in Dortmund on 12.10.18

On October 12, 2018 I presented the impressions and experiences of our trip in March this year at Café Lebensart, Dortmund. Many photos, little films and stories generated enormous interest among the 60 participants. Below you can see the agenda sketched on a flip chart. The travel report can be read on the association’s website under News.

The group of drummers around Anke Filipiak, Leben mit Musik, accompanied the evening very rhythmically and atmospheric.

Karin Neumüller, from the board, had travelled especially from Amberg. Among other things, she actively supported us in answering the visitors’ many questions. And my daughter Miriam, after Karin’s instruction at the Gambian table, diligently handed over woodcarvings and articles sewn by our tailor in Gambia against donations.

The team of Ina Oettinghaus, club member and owner of the Lebensart Café, fed the visitors with many delicious cakes and a red lentil soup, so that nobody had to go home hungry.

And in a few months the 3rd part follows. With this in mind, many greetings from Dortmund,

 

Heike Hagemann

 

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