Mission: GambiaHELP provides health and education resources & seed funding to projects that alleviate poverty and enhance the well-being of people in The Gambia.
Results: This year we are supporting 60 children, mostly orphans through our Educational Fund, providing books and school supplies to 50 rural schools requesting assistance, and rehabilitating several libraries that were damaged by heavy rains.
We are currently fundraising to build a poultry farm and garden in the village of Kerewan [to fight malnutrition among very young children] and to build an 8--classroom block at Berending.
Target demographics: the children, the women, the economically disadvantaged and the environment.
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 200 children and adults to be actively engaged in sustainable development and learning.
Geographic areas served: the rural villages of The Gambia engaging communities to develop sustainable projects.
Programs: The Library/Book Project: The development and building of libraries in primary and secondary schools throughout rural Gambia;
Women's Empowerment Project is the training of women in cooperatives with marketable skills such a rice milling, cereal banking, sewing and small enterprise development (poultry farming and gardening);
Education Fund is a program to send economically disadvantaged and orphaned boys and girls to school by payment of school fees, clothing, supplies, shoes and a daily lunch.
Shelby Tarutis, the Director of Gambia Help, already had a planned trip to Gambia when I contacted her for help. I needed to find a non-profit willing to help three children in need of an education who were Liberian refugees living in the Gambia. Shelby and her coordinator Essa Camara met with the family, a UN Volunteer, and three schools to verify and pay the children's tuitions, along with their planned work delivering books, bikes, school and medical supplies. It is amazing to me how much they accomplished in such little time! When Shelby returned from Africa, she attended my fundraising event and spoke of the family we helped. She actually gave me gift certificates to offer at the silent auction to raise money for the family in Gambia. I was completely blown away by her generosity, considering she had already done so much to help. Shelby and her volunteers are extremely hard working, compassionate and really know how to help others. This has been a life changing experience for myself and the family in need, I now plan to be a volunteer for Gambia Help because I know the great difference they make for others in need!