New project of Les Amis de Gambie: sponsor a (part of a) sheep!
New project: sponsor a (part of a) sheep!
There is a special Christmas tradition in The Gambia: Muslims are guests of Christians, who serve meals without alcohol and pork so that their Muslim friends can join in their Christmas festivities.
But the reverse is also true. Christians eat the mutton that is central to Muslims at the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha).
This feast falls about 70 days after the end of Ramadan. More than 90% of the Gambian population is Muslim. The Feast of Sacrifice follows after the Sugar Feast (Eid al-Fitr), one of the most important feasts for Muslims. It is comparable to Christmas in Western society. This year, this festival of joy and reconciliation begins on Thursday evening, 30th July.
The coronavirus crisis will alter how the Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated. This will feel strange to the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world.
The Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated in memory of the prophet Abraham, who, according to the teachings of Islam, was prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael for his god. Then Allah sent a sheep to take the place of Ishmael on the altar. This is why Muslims today still sacrifice a sheep to commemorate the prophet. The meat is distributed between family, guests and the poor. The sheep is slaughtered in accordance with Islamic rites, while suffering is kept to a minimum.
Our gardener Kekuta and our former gardener Bakary possess the necessary knowledge to ensure that the animal is slaughtered in the right way. After having worked in the orphanage for 10 years, Bakary decided to leave the orphanage at the end of 2019 to earn a living using his skills from his favourite hobby: breeding and selling sheep and goats. The sheep will be bought from Bakary to support him and his family in running their enterprise.
Traditional slaughter often arouses outrage in the Western world. In The Gambia, however, this is one of the few times of the year that many people can afford meat. Sacrificing a sheep is immensely important for a large feast!
The price of the sheep varies between €150 and €200, depending on its size. The meat of one sheep is then distributed fairly to as many as ten families.
Once again, we would like to appeal to your generosity and ask you to support Gambian families who need your help the most with a part of a sheep! Our aim is to provide a part of a sheep to as many less fortunate Gambian families as possible during the Feast of Sacrifice, so that they too can celebrate this important annual feast.
You can transfer your donation to account number: IBAN LU42 0030 6563 9934 0000 (BGLLLULL) in the name of Les Amis de Gambie or via PayPal citing ‘Sponsor a sheep’.
Think again, these pictures below are of a sheep!
In Africa, sheep look a lot like our European goats. It’s not always easy to see the difference, but goats usually have straight or slightly curved horns, whilst sheep have horns that curl behind the ears. Goats also have a goaty beard, but sheep don't! In addition, a goat has a short tail and a sheep has a longer, hanging tail.