Could we do more? Yes! Sure! Could we do less? Yes, of course.
In the past ten years, we have mainly focused on three projects: sponsor a child, travel as a volunteer and career & employment centre.
We started with the sponsorship program, and in close connection with this, the idea of the Travel as a Volunteer program was developed, through which the sponsors of the children first came to The Gambia to visit and volunteer. But today, more and more people join the program. They want to spend their vacation differently, travel with purpose and learn a lot.
In 2014 we held the first summer camp. In 2017, we bought a plot of land with the collected donations and in 2018, we built our biggest project so far; Career Education Centre, and in September 2019, we started teaching in 3 classrooms.
Volunteers helped us with their invaluable work and time, collecting donations and recruiting new sponsors and volunteers.
We are building a new brick wall with the names of the donors. The new 4th classroom got its door. You helped build wells in the villages, and we have a school garden that has borne fruit and what we are most looking forward to - new activities at the centre coming up in October.
We wish there were plenty of these milestones.
But today, we want to focus on our first program, which remains the most important one – Sponsor a child in The Gambia.
Establishing a charity organisation is strongly connected to the mission of supporting and helping others to improve lives in different ways. But when you start, you don’t know much – everyone wants to help.
In 10 years, we have learnt a lot! And one of the most important lessons was that “just giving” doesn’t really help. In many ways, it harms people by making them dependent on someone’s help.
Therefore, we believe education is the best way of supporting children from disadvantaged families so when they grow up, they will be able to do whatever they dream about. And more important, they will be independent.
Education is a basic tool in developing a child's identity and is crucial in developing the local community and the country in general. It affects the quality of life, reducing child mortality, better medical care and food production.
There are almost no public kindergartens in The Gambia, so parents of children have to pay fees so that their children can attend them. Kindergartens usually don’t organise meals, and parents are obliged to pay for school uniforms, school supplies and everything else that a child needs. Without early education, children can have enormous problems in primary school. Some parents of children are illiterate and cannot help them with their basic education. Some also can’t speak English, which is otherwise the official language of the Gambia and is used in all kindergartens and schools.
Primary and secondary public schools are free, but parents have to pay for compulsory school uniforms, school textbooks, notebooks, school supplies and other school-related expenses (excursions, school parties and various other contributions). Private primary and secondary schools are not free. In addition to the mandatory purchase of uniforms, school textbooks, notebooks and school supplies, the costs of education or tuition fees vary depending on the selected school and the city or village where the school is located.
The situation in public schools is quite tricky; therefore, many parents want their children to be educated in private schools, but for many, this is impossible because some earn less than € 50 a month. They are partially resolving the issue by paying tuition in several instalments. If they are unable to settle their obligations, the child is expelled from school before the end of the school year.
University education is a privilege that the vast majority cannot afford.
For these reasons, even a small donation can make a big difference in the life of a Gambian girl or boy.
Today, as many as 568 children are included in our sponsorship program!
We would like to celebrate a new milestone before the end of September! Our big dream is to reach 600 sponsored children on the 10th anniversary.
For us, children are not just numbers. This is a new generation of children who, if they have a basic education, will be able to take care of themselves and their families.
If your quality of life can’t dramatically change for 20€ per month and 60€ per year for school fees, then please get in touch with us.
We believe we can make it together because there are more and more of you who want to help and build a better future for the children of the world with us.
If you want to know more about our program, how much money families receive, how and who is giving them money, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send message via Whatsapp +220 2449394.