Ashbourne Hotel receptionist, Charlotte Lord,recently blogged about her recent charity work in The Gambia. Here is another update from her – more to follow after her next visit in August…
One of the villages we visited this year was called ‘Wencho’. This is a local settlement on the outskirts of Banjul, situated on a landfill site. Over the years we have provided a canoe boat for the ‘oyster fishing’ which has helped to feed the family. We also provided wind up lamps and helped to provide funding for a teenager to continue his education at college, and who has since opened a little corner shop on the landfill site. This year the funds raised were used to help Augustus expand his shop.
One of the girls from the project – Rachelle Harris – took a large suitcase with bundles of toys, sweets and books for the children. I donated some of my Ashbourne T-Shirts here too. They couldn’t have been happier with the t-shirts, and one of the older boys says he is going to share it with his brother, which made me feel quite emotional.
In Siffoe we spent a day digging holes and planting banana trees, to help them earn a living when the bananas are ready. We shipped a container out with all the materials we needed to use in order to be able to plant the trees. After this we left all the equipment here for them to use in the future. The little hole is their toilet.
During my time in The Gambia I did some reception work, and checked some of the guests in and out. I gave some of the older gentlemen t-shirts, later on in the week I saw the waiter shopping on the local market wearing his t-shirt – another emotional moment!
The final image is of a local man – Kalipha Badjie – that ended up coming out on most of the trips with us. When I visit The Gambia again in August he is going to take me and Katie Major (one of the leaders) to visit new settlements in the Gambia that have no electricity, no shops and no health care for miles around. The children in these new settlements probably won’t speak English or have any education behind them, so Kalipha will help with the translations. We then plan to work on their standard of living on our future visits – I am really looking forward to this upcoming project.