The Success of Humanitarian Aid to The Gambia
The Gambia occupies a small portion of West Africa and surrounds the Gambia River. Although only encompassing 4,491 total square miles, The Gambia is home to a population of almost 2.1 million. The success of humanitarian aid to The Gambia has only improved the lives of its citizens. These are three organizations that have worked to provide this aid.
Project Gambia has been working since 2010 to bring volunteers to The Gambia and better the lives of its citizens, mainly in the Gunjur region of the country. The organization is based out of the United Kingdom. Their projects do not address one specific issue but cover a wide variety of societal needs.
Related to health, the organization has trained 420 people in emergency first aid as well as providing them with fully stocked first aid kits and reference books. In addition, the organization worked to refurbish a community health center with supplies, furniture and health information. They have also specifically addressed the problem of malaria by organizing a malaria awareness event, attended by 200 community members, and created a short film to raise awareness about malaria in the U.K.
In relation to general well-being, they have also built four wells and provided supplies for a women’s garden plot. The organization also refurbished two local schools, including playgrounds with newly planted trees. They have also done work in the U.K., such as collecting over 20 tons of recycled goods that they then shared within Gambian communities.
Foundation Humanitarian Aid Gambia (FHAG)
The Foundation Humanitarian Aid Gambia was founded in 1996 by a couple from the Netherlands who added a Gambia-based board in 2003. Their work has been focused on specific projects revolving around family and social issues.
The FHAG Orphan Project is their largest undertaking. The project involves finding safe foster families for orphaned children but also works to ensure that orphans receive the same opportunities as other children in their area. This includes ensuring food security, housing and education for orphans in The Gambia. One beneficiary of this project was able to earn a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with their help and now volunteers with the organization to repay them. The foundation still does work in health and education in addition to this project, including donating 75 desktop computers to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
Power Up Gambia
Power Up Gambia (PUG) specifically focuses on health in The Gambia, but in a unique way. They work with the Ministry of Health to bring electricity to medical centers with solar power. This humanitarian aid to The Gambia not only provides light but also life-saving water, heat and refrigeration for medication.
Power Up Gambia has brought electricity to 23 hospitals and clinics so far. The Gambia has over 60 health clinics in rural communities that provide healthcare to farmers, but most do not have access to electricity. PUG has partnered with We Care Solar to bring 58 portable solar power kits to these locations, which have been crucial during nighttime health emergencies. PUG also keeps spare parts for these kits on hand and trains Gambian technicians to complete any potential repairs. These technicians are trained at the Gambia Technical Training Institute where Power Up Gambia has implemented a curriculum on solar energy and solar technology to ensure the sustainability of the health centers the organization has provided power for.
The success of humanitarian aid to The Gambia provides a very bright future for the country. With the help of these organizations and others, the Gambian people’s lives will only continue to improve and grow.
– Megan Burtis