The pandemic is also leaving its mark on The Gambia. People who are employed in tourism are particularly affected. Relatives and family members of our teachers are partly without a job. To help alleviate the hardship, our CEO, Hatab Beyai, presented all employees with a 50 kg bag of rice. A big thank you to our donors.
The students have been attending our school in Brufut again since January. After a longer lock down in spring 2020, the classes were divided from October to December. There were morning and afternoon classes. This made it possible for all children to attend school every day. The school team pays special attention to hygiene measures. At the school entrance there is now a washing station for hand cleansing and disinfection. (see picture). The association continued to pay the salaries of all employees during the lockdown. This allowed us to contribute to financial stability.
Letter to members
Dear members and friends,
how quickly the first half year has come to an end. Unfortunately, due to the standstill caused by the Corona, we lack the personal contact with you, so we will gladly inform you again by mail.
Corona has not only brought us limitations, but has also shown us how important consistency and loyalty, in the truest sense of the word, can be affordable. The income from your membership has enabled us to continue to pay the salaries of our entire staff (43 people).
You are the most important and stable pillar of our association! THANK YOU for that!
The second pillar are our sponsors. Our main sponsors from Regensburg remained a strong support for us, thus 10 school leavers could be financed an education and our director could be given a worthy farewell into retirement.
In spite of all our constant help, we are already lacking about 3.000,00 € donations and income from stands at various festivals due to the imposed restrictions. We already have some ideas to compensate for this and hope for your continued support.
If you are an Internet orderer, you can do something good with it:
With AboutYou you get 10% discount on your order value and our association receives 10% of the sales, that’s worth it for everyone! You log in to AboutYou and at the end of your order enter this code: CS-BHO7P5
Amazon Smile gives 0.5% of its turnover to non-profit organizations, also to us :)! To do so, you have to log in directly at smile.amazon.de, select our organization “Socialis for The Gambia” and place your order! You have already done something good!
Surely you have asked yourself many times, how are the people in The Gambia doing? We have always been in contact with Hatab, our coordinator, and thank God, all the people we know in The Gambia have been spared by Covid 19 so far. The government has, after the pandemic became known, reacted very quickly and stopped public life. Unfortunately, the number of cases of corona disease has been rising dramatically for several days. More details and the reports of Hatab Beyai, you can see on our homepage at www. socialis-for-the-gambia.de
On 22.07.2020 the staff at Sannehmentereng Lower Basis School bid farewell to their director Mr. Jatta in retirement. Mr. Jatta was our principal at the school for 13 years. The cooperation with Mr. Beyai and the college has always been a great pleasure for him. We wish him all the best and good health! At the beginning of the school in September, Mr. Omar Jammeh, his deputy, will take over the position of director on a trial basis.
Some more data for you:
- Flea market and Gambian evening are omitted
- Meeting of the members takes place on 18.09.2020, at 19 o’clock, in the “Blaue Traube” in Gebenbach
the items on the agenda remain the same as in the invitation from spring.
Please register for the MV in advance by email firstname.lastname@example.org or under 09621/31754.
We wish you nice vacations, a relaxing vacation and we look forward to welcoming you in large numbers to the general meeting.
Your board team of Socialis for The Gambia e.V.
Internship report from Regina
9.01.2020 – 05.03.2020
In June 2019, during my vacation, I got to know the association from Amberg and its project, a school with kindergarten and the Skill Center (training center) in Brufut. I was able to get a picture of the help from Germany and how it is being put to good use, which I found incredibly exciting.
Back in Germany I applied to help as a “volunteer” in Gambia at the school.
I had already been to Africa many times, had experienced and seen many positive things and wanted to give something meaningful back to the locals. The people there have a natural friendliness and good humour, show a lot of interest in the other person and are incredibly helpful. I have never experienced this anywhere before.
Gambia is the smallest country in West Africa and after a short time you know the few main roads by heart. But you only have to get used to the adventurous driving style.
On 18.02.2020 Gambia celebrated the Independence Day. In the stadium in Bakau there was a big party to celebrate the now 55 years independence of the country. Also here you could feel the joy and friendliness towards strangers.
1 week after my arrival on 23.01.2020 I started my internship. The first days I was employed in the creative house. The two current interns Julia and Iris just finished their work at the school, made a handover with me and gave some friendly, good tips for the way. In the ceremonial speech of the school director and the project manager the girls were bid farewell and I was welcomed.
The association offers you the possibility to live free of charge in the internship house, which is affiliated to the Skill Center. I, however, lived in a guesthouse, which was calculated quite cheaply for the planned 3 months.
In the Creative House the students have the opportunity to get a contrast to the usual frontal teaching at school and to bring in their ideas while doing handicrafts and drawing. This is not insignificant for the further development of the children, as they often do not have the same opportunities or the material for handicrafts or games at home. A library for reading lessons is also available. When the lesson was over, it was often difficult to send them back to the classroom on time. They did not want to find an end, because singing and building Lego was great fun.
Furthermore, I made posters for the Nursery School in the Creative House, which were hung up in the classes there.
There I was also used there, mainly English and the basic concepts of mathematics are taught. Every day there is a test and homework. Every student has a notebook to take home. There is a playground for the students of the Nursery Scholl. Sports lessons are held for all in the schoolyard with sandy ground. Since the children are mostly Muslims, they can pray there in the afternoon on their carpets.
In the Skill Center there is a tailor shop with two classes and a class for prospective hairdressers. In a small shop, clothes can be bought or ordered locally. The prospective tailors also sew all the school uniforms of the approximately 600 students. A hairdressing salon is also part of the school. The carpentry workshop, which was located there, was moved to the school, as repairs to the school furniture are more likely to be necessary there.
The school kitchen cooks a different dish for the students and teachers every day. The ingredients for this are harvested in the school garden that the school has planted itself.
The association also takes care of the health care of the employees. For example, everyone should receive a tetanus vaccination.
The children attach great importance to hygiene and brush their teeth or wash their hands together every day. Small wounds are treated immediately in the Roundhouse. Disposable gloves, disinfectant spray, bandages and plasters as well as ointments are available here.
I would have liked to stay longer to help at the school, but unfortunately I had to break off my stay early due to the corona crisis in order to be able to return to Germany.
I hope very much for the Gambia and Africa as a whole that the number of infected people will be kept within limits.
All in all it was a great, interesting and instructive time for me. I would recommend it at any time, not only to those who want to practice the teaching profession or learn something in the social field. I could well imagine repeating something similar.
Finally I would like to thank the club in Germany, especially Karin and Verena and the Gambian team, Hatab, headmaster, teachers etc. for their kind support. Many thanks also to Waltraud, who went on an excursion with me.
The Impact of Corona virus on Socialis for the Gambia Projects
Corona virus is a global pandemic that has cause havoc all over the world. It started in China and the world thought it was a Chinese virus and it was not taken seriously until it started consuming the whole world. Since then global efforts have started race against time to curb the menace but all efforts were late to stop the dreadful virus from affecting economies and social fabrics of societies.
However the Gambia registered its first case on the 17th of March 2020 and the government declared a state of emergency on the 18th of March 2020, resulting to the closure of all schools and non essential services.
Since the start of the state of emergency every efforts and mobilization has been put in place to curb the spread of the virus in the country, this includes closing of all churches and mosques, closing and opening times of businesses and markets, limiting number of people at gatherings to maximum 10 people as well as keeping social distancing and sensitization programs on radios and televisions.
Though the measures were harsh to many average Gambians whose daily living depends on their daily selling and buying to put food on the table but eventually it is paying dividend because the Gambia is one of the country in West Africa with the lowest infection rate with only one death since the start of the virus. So far the country has registered 25 cases with one death and only 6 active cases receiving treatment as of 28th of May 2020. This number may increase but since 4 days no new infection discovered.
With state of emergency been extended up the 8th of June 2020, the education sector has been seriously affected with closure of all schools since 18th March 2020. Socialis for the Gambia projects are no exception to this closure but with the intervention of government providing television and radio lessons for students, it has helped many students to tune to those stations to listen to lessons however its effectiveness is questionable as many homes have not the priviledge of owning a radio or television.
For our part at Sannehmentereng some of the students who live not far from their teachers do have the advantage of getting lessons from their teachers on regular basis but also parents were urged to monitor and provide assistance to their kids at home during the lock down.
Though the facilities are closed but the upkeep of the facilities still remains the same with weekly cleaning of all classrooms by the cleaning ladies. The caretakers and night watchmen are also on their daily routine task of keeping the school environment clean and safe as well as watering, taking care and maintaing plants and flowers.
The impact of corona virus on human lives cannot be over emphazized as it has affected social well being of people especially in third world countries where the Gambia is no exception. Many people have lost their jobs with the closure of businesses with small scale busineses near to bankrupcy if no intervention from government. However with all these problems Socialis for the Gambia is able to take care of its staff, thanks to the kind gestures from our sponsors and our members for their monthly contribution to the assoiciation.
Although it is really hard everywhere in the world but am still pleading to all our sponsors and members to kindly continue with their humanitarian gestures to the association for the continuous support of educating a child for a better future for the cause of humanity.
While applauding the execuitive committee, the members and the sponsors for a job weldone in the cause of humanity for the past twenty years, I sincerely pray to Almiighty to protect each and every one of you and your family from this deadful virus and hope that the virus goes away soon to regain our normal lives.
While wishing you all the best in the future, please keep safe and healthy.
Coordinator, Socialis for the Gambia