Last week we travelled to Gambia – West Africa to give back to the community. For those of you not familiar with Gambia, it is the smallest country in Africa with over a third its population of 1.7 million people surviving below the UN poverty line of $1.25 a day. The land is prone to heavy rain falls and therefore difficult to farm. Packed with excitement and determination to help, Simona and Marleen on behalf of ResponseConcepts set out to Berending Village to improve the living conditions of the community there.
1. Facility & Housing: The recent rainstorms destroyed many of the mudblock houses in Berending. We helped to rebuild one of these houses belonging Jama and Matar and their 7 kids. Their smiles are worth the effort.
2. Water Pumps: Many of the orange and banana trees in Berending are dehydrating because they are not properly watered. Aiding in the repair of broken water pumps, we helped the community to farm again and have better harvest next season.
3. Health: The heavy rain also wrecked the ceiling of the maternity ward in Health Care Center of Berending. Another rain season is coming soon, and we donated for the ceiling’s replacement to ensure the safety of mothers and new babies being born right in that very ward.
4. Children’s Meals: The children in “Pallum” preschool of Berending used to receive three little biscuits and one glass of lemonade for the whole day. Financially supporting them with providing the school with daily nutritious lunches, the children now gets a turn of sandwiches and porridge four days a week.
5. Education: ResponseConcepts also seek to improve children’s education by increasing the ratio of the short-staffed schools in Berending. By employing mothers of the village as class assistants, we empower these women to have an income and let them contribute more to their community.
All of these are only the beginning as there are still so many ways to give back indeed. Given with the abundance that we are used to have, it is terribly easy to take things like drinkable water and strong ceilings for granted. To continue appreciating of what we already have, ResponseConcepts will continue to give back to the community. We will definitely keep you posted on the developments of Berending again.