Our hearts go out to The Gambia and we're especially devoted to the people of Basse, different communities living at approximately 375 km east of the capital Banjul.
Since 2013 we've started financing a large family enabling them to be as self sufficient as possible. They succeeded in providing enough food for the family and getting all the children to school. At home we talk about our mission and goals with members of our family, friends and collegues. This resulted in the fact that we were given all kinds of products that were no longer of any use in Belgium but were still in mint condition. Boxes filled with clothes, footwear, toys, school items, ... were collected and shipped in a container to Basse.
Our journey to Basse in March 2014 made things very clear. The needs of this town unfortunately exceed shortages in clothes and school items. Especially the conditions where the women have to live in are atrocious and have moved us deeply. Besides working the land, the women take care for the many children belonging to the family, prepare food and try to make ends meet by selling cooled water in plastic bags, to name just one example. We had the chance to have confidential conversations with some of the women. What they told us chilled our hearts to the core. A lot of the women suffer physical violence/abuse from their husbands. Everybody knows this is happening but nobody talks about it, let alone acts against it. Out of ignorance or frustration the children get beaten as well.
When we returned we couldn't let go of these impressions and experiences. The poverty and no less the painful stories about family life made it very clear what to do next. We decided to enlarge our commitment and to do more. Over the phone we stayed in contact with some of the families in Basse. All the while we keep collecting clothes and school items and try to make our "good cause" known to as much people as possible. Slowly but surely, more and more people get word of our project. The collected funds are used mainly to buy rice and school items. Nevertheless, the costs keep rising at a steady pace, partly because we want to do so many things simultaneously. Collecting all the gifts sometimes literally grows over our heads.
From September 2015 the idea of combining all our intiatives into one non profit organisation steadily grew in our heads.
And look where we are now....