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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Higher Education, International, International Economic Development, International Relief, Literacy, Microfinance

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.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been involved with GambiaHelp for many years and feel it's a very worthwhile nonprofit to support. Shelby Tarutis is a close family friend and works very hard to improve the quality of life for the people of Gambia. Every year we are amazed at how much she's accomplished and the improvements she makes to the program to benefit the Gambians. Over the years, their lives have continually improved due to the hours Shelby volunteers to perfect the program. We never hesitate to support this non-profit as we know our money will be used in the best way possible.

Sally Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am more than a donor really, I have been friends with Shelby Tarutis (the director) for many years and did volunteer work with her when I was younger. Shelby began GambiaHELP all on her own because she loves the Gambian people and wants to help them. She served in Gambia in the Peace Corps. She has done an amazing job of bringing schoolbooks, medical supplies, and much much more to the Gambian people. She is devoted to her cause. Her web page tells more about her work and achievements than I can - http://www.gambiahelp.org/index.html Shelby is conscientious, hard working, strictly honest, and very caring.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

GambiaHELP provides Gambian schools with schoolbooks where they had few or none before, school supplies for the students, wells for water for the villages, medical supplies, computers, solar lamps, and much more. I have known Shelby Tarutis, the director, since she began GambiaHELP. Shelby does an awesome job of raising funds and gathering supplies to ship to The Gambia, then travels to The Gambia to distribute them. She speaks Mandinka with the people there and is loved by them. It is hard to imagine what all those village schools would be like without the impact of GambiaHELP. And the lives of many have been improved through having village wells for clean water supplies.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor (and former volunteer) I'm happy to support GambiaHELP! They provide an amazing level of service to women and children with tremendenous need. The funding and donations received by GambuaHELP go directly to services and projects, with less than 5% spent on administration and expenses of the organization. This small agency makes a huge impact!

Donor

Rating: 5

Shelby Tarutis is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She started out in Gambia as a Peace Corp Volunteer, and then went back to help the people she loves once she was out of the Peace Corp. I have never seen anyone as dedicated to a cause as Shelby. She tirelessly works 12 months out of the year, fund raising in Seattle, which usually includes a big auction, and I have attended many of these at the Women's University Club...there is silent auction items to choose from, and wonderful live auction items, as well as wonder food and drink. Gambians are there looking splendiferous in their native garb and dance and play music. It is a must attend event as well as a great fund raiser . She gathers up goods of clothing, medical supplies, etc. for the gambians and ships a container to Gambia once a year. Once the container has arrive she follows and helps distribute goods around the country, and she is there about two months, sacrificing time with her family back in Seattle. She is an Angel!

Donor

Rating: 5

I strongly support GambiaHelp because it increases opportunities for women and children in that poor part of Africa. They have so little, and GambiaHelp ships and distributes a variety of items that are useful for the women to develop their crafts and earn needed money by selling them. It also helps the children by providing backpacks with school supplies, which are in short supply there. The country has a library but it is poorly stocked. GambiaHelp collects books, clothing and other useful items and ships them to the country to benefit the library as well as the citizens. Finally, for a small donation, GambiaHelp facilitates drilling a well, which helps the families who otherwise must walk long distances for fresh water.