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.

Face-to-face teaching

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, 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. 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

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

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


Two young women from the district have left their usual home for four months and are going to West Africa for an internship. In the interview they talk about their experiences in Gambia, their work at the school and what they miss most since their return to Germany. Going abroad after graduating from high school, that is the plan of many school graduates in Germany. Two young women from the district of Amberg-Sulzbach have dared a special adventure and completed a social internship in the West African Gambia for four months. This was made possible by the Amberg-based association Socialis for The Gambia, which supports the educational work in the small African country by financing a pre-school and primary school as well as a training centre. In an interview, Iris (18) and Julia (19) talk about their experiences in Gambia, their work at the school and what they miss most since their return to Germany How did it come about that you decided to do an internship in Gambia? Julia: I always wanted to go abroad for a longer time, because you can get to know a country very differently when you live there than when you are only there as a tourist for a few weeks. After my high school diploma I decided to put this into practice. Iris: I also wanted to try something new and improve my English, but at the same time I wanted to make use of something from my surroundings. And so I went to Gambia through the Amberg-based association Socialis for the Gambia. What was your first impression when you arrived? Iris: Ohjemine, where have I landed here! [laughs] It was a little bit poorer than expected. Julia: I can remember exactly how we were picked up from the airport and suddenly a cow ran in front of the car and we had to stop abruptly. Besides, it was unbelievably hot and there was sand and garbage everywhere. But from the very beginning I was especially fascinated by the women in their colourful dresses, carrying their children on their backs and balancing a fruit bowl on their heads at the same time. How was your daily routine? Julia: During the week we took our bikes in the morning and on the way to school we took our breakfast in the shop next door. Then from 8 to half past 4 we were

Final report by Julia and Iris

During the first week, when we were allowed to look at everything at the school and get used to things, we supported the nursery teachers of the first two classes. Otherwise we spent most of our working time in the Roundhouse. There we organized the lessons partly alone, partly together with Mr. Jatta. In the first weeks we glued all the books for the libraryessons and sorted them again by class level. This way we could put books for the respective classes on their places before the lesson, so that the children could start reading immediately without a huge chaos before. For the art lessons we drew and copied pictures for the lower classes, which we then prepared on the tables with pens before the lessons. From the originals of the colouring pictures, as well as a few newer ones that we designed especially for this purpose, we created a kind of colouring book, so that Mr. Jatta and other trainees will have templates in the future that they can copy and colour in the children. For the older students, we mainly thought up craft projects, which we used to decorate the ceiling and walls of the Creative House after completion. The biggest project was probably the dragon, as the children were able to use a lot of materials for it and the whole thing took several hours. Apart from that, of course, the long garland for the ceiling, the fish garlands on the windows, the stars, the little pigs, the big snail and the big poster with the colourful hands should not be forgotten. Towards the end of our stay we designed a kind of handicraft book for Mr. Jatta. For this we first collected handicraft ideas and then photographed step by step the process of the respective basic ideas up to the “finished” end product. We wrote a short sentence or text for each of the photos, so that we could finally compile a complete manual. Thus, this handicraft book contains both the instructions for the things we had already made with some classes as well as some completely new ones. We also collaborated on an art competition on climate change. With the help of Mr. Jatta, we selected particularly artistic pupils from two age groups each, who then designed two posters in groups. With our support, they exchanged ideas about the content of the posters until

Internship report from September by Julia and Iris

As soon as we arrived in Gambia, we were warmly welcomed by everyone, so that we got used to the – for us – new country very well and could find our way around very quickly. In the first week we supported Nursery 1 to find out about all the customs and habits. For example, we helped with the English lessons or showed the children how to assemble the Lego bricks – a present from Germany – which the little ones really enjoyed. In the second week we stayed at the Roundhouse and started with our current daily routine. In the meantime we have already completed several different handicraft projects with the classes. For the first and second class we have set ourselves the task of designing mandalas, for example, which the children can then colour in with enthusiasm in art lessons. Class three was very happy about the painting and folding of subjects, because the sun here in Gambia creates a completely different temperature than in Germany. Class four brought a large wall project to light, which not only the children are happy about, but also the initial emptiness in the Roundhouse. A big one was made from small woollen snails, which is now admired proudly by the pupils. For the time when there are no pupils in the Roundhouse, we do not run out of tasks. So we have designed a book with the whole alphabet and pictures matching the letters for the nursery or designed several posters to embellish the classrooms. We also give the 6th grade private tuition in calligraphy at the request of a teacher. If we have had enough of the “creative” tasks, we can also help the teachers with smaller problems on the computer or give lessons in using Power Point. Finally, we are also responsible for treating and dressing minor wounds of the students on the days when Wolfgang and Sara are not at school. And so we hope to enrich the school with imaginative ideas for the next two months and to enjoy the delicious Benachin and are looking forward to what is to come. Julia and Iris (Interns in Gambia September 2019 – February 2020)

Letter from Africa

on March 27 Hatab wrote to our members: Thank you Team, On behalf of all the staff and students of all our projects in the Gambia, we want to wish each and every member of our association to stay safe and healthy from this COVID 19 Our prayers and thoughts are with you in this trying moment and hope that with unity we will over come this sickness very soon. May God protect and guide you and your family from this dreadful virus. Wish you all the best. Hatab would also like to thank the sponsor of his car engine. A few months ago and despite several repairs, the engine of the club car has given up the ghost. Thanks to a sponsor Hatab was able to buy a used engine for the car and have it installed. Since March 18th, the schools, the Skill Center and the universities in Gambia are closed and the teachers try to work from home. They prepare lessons and try to provide their students with tasks via e-mail. But this is relatively difficult, because many of them do not have computers at home. Some teachers also bring their students the teaching materials from nearby. All our employees in Gambia continue to receive their salary. A sewing instruction for protective masks was passed on to the tailors. They can now make and sell masks. Also the government in Gambia announced restrictions on March 27th: All non-essential food outlets at all markets will be closed. All public places and places of worship will be closed. Family celebrations will be limited to 10 people and transportation will be limited to half the usual number of passengers. Prices will be frozen to prevent hoarding of all essential goods. The government has also approved an emergency fund.

Sponsor for education in Gambia

For 20 years, the Amberg-based association Socialis for The Gambia e.V. has supported school and vocational training in The Gambia through memberships and donations. “The Regensburg company Fronteris made a significant contribution to this last year”, reports board member Thomas März-Kronfeld of Socialis. A delegation from Fronteris recently visited the West African country and met the young trainees in person. The charitable organization founded a kindergarten and a school in the West African country of The Gambia, where more than 600 children up to grade six now receive free schooling. In addition to the school, the association runs a training centre for about 50 prospective tailors and hairdressers in the village of Brufut. Thanks to the great initiative of the company Fronteris from Regensburg, even more young adults can now start an apprenticeship. Already since September, the company has been supporting three young women and one young man to complete a vocational training by covering the entire training costs. The chosen occupational groups of the trainees are very different and range from business management and tourism management to teaching profession for the upper school. Fronteris would like to give especially the young Gambian* women a chance. After graduating from school, they would otherwise not have the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, as they cannot afford the sometimes high costs themselves. For the coming training year, the company would like to include further school graduates in the sponsoring programme and, above all, promote local trades and crafts. The board team of the Amberg-based association Socialis for The Gambia. e.V. thanks Fronteris “for the great support of the former students of the Sannehmentereng-Lower-Basic-School and wishes the young trainees all the best for their start into their professional life”, says März-Kronfeld. Caption: Thomas März-Kronfeld Our photo shows the German delegation in Brufut with the trainees (from left): Abdou Joof, Gunilla Janner, Haddy L. Bojang, Werner Engelhardt, Yama Sanneh, Kai Pawelka, Nyillan Joof. Photo: Waltraud Haid Translated with (free version)

Letter to members

Winter 2019/20 For you, dear members, we summarized the news of the past half year. In May big preparations for the school festival for the 20th anniversary began. The students with their teachers rehearsed songs and plays, sewed clothes, organised meals, seating and pavilions. During the Pentecost holidays, a group of 20 people flew to Gambia to visit the school, the Skill Centres in Brufut and Sintet and to get to know the country and its people. The colourful and impressive school festival with almost 900 guests was the highlight for all participants. 620 pupils were presented with wooden hearts. Students from the Amberg area painted them under the motto “A heart for Gambia”. All employees received a sack of rice as a gift as a token of gratitude and appreciation. Longstanding employees were also honoured with a certificate and a club shirt. We are especially pleased to have met former students with their success stories. They proudly reported that they work as fashion designers, run their own hairdressing business or are successful in the music industry. You can find pictures and travel reports on our homepage. The trainees in Sintet passed the examination for dressmaker with flying colours. Karin Neumüller personally handed over the certificates and footstitching machines to our seven proud women. In July the sixth classes successfully completed primary school. The majority of the students attend the secondary school in Brufut. Thanks to the financial support of a sponsor, seven graduates of the Secondary School now receive a scholarship at the GTTI training centre for craft and economic professions. The carpentry workshop with Schreiner Landing Tamba was moved from the Skill Center to the school to carry out the necessary repairs at the school. Since our tailoring shop at the Skill Center is growing steadily, the former carpentry shop was converted into an additional sewing room. On August 31st, a flea market was held at the Kulturstift Amberg for the benefit of the association. Numerous sellers offered flea market goods and donated their proceeds to our projects in Gambia. The visitors could stroll through the flea market with coffee, cake, cold drinks and snacks. Karin Neumüller showed pictures of the group trip and informed all interested people. Thanks to the numerous visitors and great feedback the day was a complete success. Many thanks to all participants for their donations! A women’s garden was created on the

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

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

A moving journey to West Africa

With an area of just over 11,000 km², Gambia is the smallest country in Africa. But that doesn’t mean that Gambia is inferior to other African countries in anything! On the contrary, the West African country, which is completely surrounded by Senegal, impresses with an incredible animal world and is known as a natural paradise. “The Smiling Coast of Africa” is the tourist motto of the country for the coastal tyre strip in the west. This credo, I think, applies to the whole country and its population. Everywhere one meets the warm smile, where one comes into contact with the “Locals”. A pleasant and thoroughly contagious experience. It is a great challenge when more than twenty people, fortnightly, meet every day. In addition: all participants of the group journey knew each other before beginning only fleetingly and it succeeded in developing already on the first day after the arrival a feeling of togetherness. Thus the journey was from the outset very pleasant and characterised by harmony. Round trip inland To get a good first impression of Gambia, it is advisable to visit the country. After a day of acclimatization, we went on a round trip of several days. Our trip started after breakfast and together with our good German speaking tour guide Ibrahim we went from our hotel via Banjul with a more than thirty year old Mitsubishi bus to the “West Coast”, one of the six regions of the country. More precisely to the combo Saint Mary Area. A view from the bus window to the street shows that you are in Africa. Less paved streets, no sidewalk, red earth and often the bus overtakes a donkey cart. The first destination was a traditional goat market. Already there, a distorting picture for European eyes showed up, as there was also slaughtered on the spot. Another look upwards showed how the vultures were circling in the sky. Here we did not stay long and went on to one of the classic, traditional Gambian wood markets. We came into direct contact with the traders and bargaining is part of the good tone and is a core area of African trade. In order to negotiate a good and fair price for the hand carved works of art, the following strategy is recommended very well: after the goods were presented and observed, the dealer suggests a first price. If you now go

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. 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,, 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

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.

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  

A new school year begins

Also in Gambia the long summer holidays have come to an end and school life started again. The last days of the holidays were used by the caretakers, the carpenters and the cooks to renew the fly screens and window frames of the classrooms and to free the classrooms from the dust of the holidays. Also the coordinator Mr. Beyai helped and relentlessly painted the wood for the window frames. Most of the girls and boys could hardly wait for the start of the new school year on 17.09. and were proud to attending a higher class. Director Mr. Jatta welcomed all students and reminded them how important mutual respect is for a successful school day. Afterwards, the director welcomed the new Nursery 1 students who entered the school with their parents. After Mr. Jatta explained some of the school’s rules and stressed the importance of punctuality and proper school uniforms, the little ones were assigned to the two classes and started their first day of school. Full of pride they left the school grounds at the end of the school day with the new uniforms, which had already been sewn at the SkillCenter before the holidays.  In the meantime, everyday life has returned and pupils and teachers are striving for good learning. Starting from 01.10. the school will be supported by our two new interns Laura and Hannah. I was very happy to experience the first school day at the Sannehmentereng Lower Basic School this year and wish Laura and Hannah also a good “school start” in Gambia. Verena (former intern)

Welcome to the Hutzelhof courtyard

The association “Socialis for The Gambia e.V.” was again pleased to receive an invitation from the Hutzelhof farmer to the Hutzelhoffest on 16. 09.2018. Committed members and board members were happy to present products from The Gambia. For a donation interested persons had the possibility to bring woodcarvings, fabrics and other small things into their possession. We are also happy to select special gifts from our stands. Talented Gambier carve wooden figures which are e.g. a lasting and also appealing gift to bridal couples. The association is particularly pleased that many of the sewing products offered for sale at the stand come from the trained seamstresses of the association’s own Skill Centers in Brufut and Sintet. The seamstresses themselves are especially proud when they can give their work to us in Germany and want to show their gratitude. Through the association you have a perspective to provide for your livelihood through your own work. The interest and the willingness to donate of the festival visitors was enormous and we would like to thank everyone who helped in any way.

Significant exploration in Gambia

Because you can achieve more together – this was the motto of my trip to Gambia in May. I work voluntarily for the NGO “Technik ohne Grenzen”, an association that aims to improve living conditions in developing countries through technical solutions. We implement projects worldwide in the fields of water, energy, waste management and technical education. It was against this background that the idea of cooperation between Technik ohne Grenzen, Socialis for The Gambia and the Rotary Club Amberg was born to improve the living conditions of the people in The Gambia. I spent two weeks in Gambia, from 18 May to 02 June. I was accompanied by Verena from Rottenburg and Nash from Kumasi, Ghana, who complemented mine with their technical expertise. This time we spent half in Sintet and half in Brufut to visit the school and the Skill Centers with regard to water and energy supply, sanitary facilities and handling garbage. During the first week in Sintet it turned out very quickly that the water supply at the Skill Center, but also in the whole town, is seen as a big problem. During our stay we examined and categorized the different water sources of the district Fulakunda and had water samples from the different boreholes analysed in the water laboratory. In Sintet we also visited the school, the hospital and the kindergarten, the women of the village showed us their community garden. At the Skill Center in Sintet we were welcomed by teachers and students. We were there on several days and discussed with the agricultural teacher Lamin S. Jammeh and the coordinator Samba Sowe the irrigation situation of the fields of the agricultural school as well as the need for better sanitary facilities. On the subject of sustainable toilet systems, we also gave a lecture to the agricultural class. The toilets available there are in poor condition. With regard to the irrigation of the fields, the new, deeper borehole is active and thus enables the agricultural class to cultivate the fields. However, the irrigation system is not yet sufficient to allow irrigation of the entire area under cultivation. I was thrilled to see with what interest and commitment the teachers there were pursuing their work despite these difficulties. The second week in Brufut was different. Brufut is much more urban and touristic. We visited the school and the Skill Center there. During our visit to

Interhouse Competition – The sporting highlight of the school year, not only for the pupils.

All 618 students from Nursery 1 to 6th grade, teachers, guards and trainees, even the trainees of the Skill Center in Brufut were randomly assigned red, yellow, green and blue to the 4 houses (Kundas). A really nice idea to break up class structures and motivate everyone who belongs to the school family for a common event. And everyone was motivated! In Sport Week there was no other topic than „In which house are you in?“, „Blue wins!“, and countless discussions among the teachers with absurd arguments for the victory of the respective house: „Green! Take a look around in nature. Green all round!“ After 3 hard training days and complex transformation of the clay court into a real sports stadium, it was time on 22.03.: the 11th Interhouse Competition took place. We know the strength of African runners from big competitions on TV – here we could also see where the basis for it is laid. With incredible ambition and endurance, the children sprinted barefoot for their team in the sand from an estimated 80 m (Nursery) to 800 m. The competition was loosened up by disciplines such as the tripod, in which 2 children each ran together with their inner legs tied together, or jumped, egg run (here with limes), picking up balls, filling up water bottles, trip to Jerusalem. Surprisingly, none of the older girls crossed the finish line wearing a bucket of water on their heads, although you can really admire women on the streets doing this every day. Until lunch break it was an intense head-to-head race between the green and blue houses. Now that everyone had to wait longer for the school cooks‘ delicious food, a cheerful and exuberant dance party developed spontaneously. Strengthened we went to the seasons. But suddenly the children of the blue team stumbled, lost the baton, green became slower and so the red house literally ran over the two Kundas. Finally 2 highlights for the audience were on the program: „Wrestling“ and „Teachers Race“. Everyone freaked out in wrestling when one of the few chubby students was more than surprisingly thrown to the ground. The two teacher races, at which we interns all had fun (and success), formed the conclusion of a very intensive, emotional and unforgettable sports day. Lisa (Trainee in Gambia)

Impressions of our trip to the Gambia in March 2018

After telling with shining eyes about the group trip Easter 2017, my husband Karsten Schulz and Marcus Zamecnik were curious and wanted to explore the facilities of Socialis for The Gambia themselves. We would like to infect you with our report and have therefore summarised our very personal impressions and experiences. Directly on Monday morning we went on foot, with a box of badminton games for the children, to our school Sannehmentereng and were warmly welcomed by Mr. Jatta, the headmaster of the school. We admired the newly created school garden, see also the current internship report of Sarah and Nyara. Waltraud Haid has set up a table for an initial wound treatment in the Creative House. Tuesday we visited our Skill Center and I can report that things are very different here than last year. The hairdressers now have access to the street and the tailors will also finish their sales room, a changing room is in preparation and a sales counter is already available. The urgently needed solar system will be installed in April. We were very happy about the invitation of our teacher Ebriama Jallow to his home. We were allowed to see everything and experience his life situation live. Two small rooms for 5 people, cooking outside. Despite the few means he plans his life among other things by paying for his own property. He can be proud of himself and his family. Hatab Beyai, our local manager, and Waltraud Hain take us to our agricultural school in Sintet on Wednesday. The car ride is already exciting for the two newcomers, at the roadside, local people sell, grill, donkey and horse carts drive, often we see very old trucks that have stopped, car tires are simply burned next to the road. Since the Easter round trip in 2017 I often had to think of our visit to the village of Bintang. On the way back Hatab Beyai stopped there at my request and gave me a great pleasure personally. On Thursday we went back to school to witness the 11th Interhouse Competition Sports Festival. The children including the Skill Center apprentices were divided into four groups (blue, red, green, yellow). For egg running, sack racing, relay, carrying water, collecting balls and various short and long distances there were points, which were documented on a board after each run-in. Saturday morning we went with the headmaster

Internship report Sarah and Nyara

Since the school garden has not been used much lately and was rather overgrown, Mr. Jatta and I set out to replant it with the help of the students and some teachers. Now tomatoes, lettuce, onions and other vegetables are growing again in the school garden and are waiting to be harvested. On Friday, March 2nd, surprisingly German doctors visited us at school. They came to help children with wounds, eye, skin and other problems. As support for the doctors we went from class to class and collected children with any injuries. The most common concerns of the children were wounds, followed by eye and vision problems, stomach problems and cystitis. The doctor and the two medical students took time for each of these children individually. Since we didn‘t know anything about a visit of a doctor from Germany until then, we were very positively surprised and found it very interesting and sometimes helpful to watch the doctors. In the meantime Lisa and Theresa have also arrived in Gambia, so there are now five of us for some time. On 12.03. was a special day in Gambia, on which we could participate in the school: the Commonwealth Day. Since this day was not celebrated in the old regime for many years, many preparations were made and everyone looked forward to the special day. The individual classes all prepared a lecture about different countries (nursery classes) or the different tribes of Gambia (classes 1-6). On Monday they were allowed to present their lectures. The children danced, sang and played little sketches. Afterwards we had dinner and danced together. All in all it was a beautiful and eventful day with many impressions and fun! Sarah and Nyara

Boy, did you grow up!

It crossed my mind when I visited Gambia, not only when I saw some students, but also when I entered the Skill Center in Sintet. Since my last visit in 2014, amazing things have happened there. Next to the tailoring building there is now a new building complex of the nursery. And the agricultural school is not to be overlooked on the property. Garlic, potatoes and tomatoes are already growing in the numerous beds. The lack of water in Sintet alone reduces the promising tomato harvest. Hopes are therefore high that the well will be drilled deeper in order to provide enough water for the tomatoes and the other beds. And also at the school in Brufut the new school garden promises a rich harvest of onions, salad, eggplant and other vegetables, which can be used for school meals. The students help tirelessly with irrigation and thus learn agricultural skills on the side. Finally, the Skill Center in Brufut surprised me with a new ‚look‘. By opening the walls, access to the newly furnished hairdressing salon was made possible. This is run independently by young women who have successfully completed their training in the Skill Center. And also for the trained apprentices of the tailoring department such help is planned for the start of their independent professional life, in the form of the tailoring shop at the Skill Center. The projects in the Gambia (and of course the students) continue to grow, so I am looking forward to my next visit. Verena (former intern)

Meeting in Dortmund

My photo evening in Dortmund in August last year has not only left a lasting impression on many people, but it was also donated diligently and in the course of time some have decided to become members of the association.. On 26.01.18 the new Dortmund club members and supporters met for the first time in Café Lebensart. I reported on the Gambian Evening and showed some recent photos, including the additional pump from the water tower in Sintet, the new wall in front of the hairdresser and tailor building in Brufut and the Nursery classes. I am very happy to pass on the latest news, Dr. Jürgen Remmerbach has informed us that the Rotary Club Dortmund Hörde will support the solar system in Brufut with 2.500 Euro. I myself experienced the heat on a group trip in March 2017 and am delighted that the Skill Center and Internship House in Brufut will once again have electricity available for the fans, among other things. With delicious winter punch and cake we thought together how we could make the next planned photo evening even better. As soon as there is news from Dortmund, we will report. Until then, many greetings from all of us in Dortmund. Your Heike Hagemann