There are 66,000 orphans growing up in The Gambia. Being orphans obviously has a detrimental impact on their development and therefore the care they require to help them overcome traumas. In 2005, we began to build an orphanage in Sinchu Alhajie, which, with the help of many sponsors and volunteers, finally opened in 2009.
Our aim is to provide a home - together with a good education - for 23 children, so that they can enjoy a carefree childhood and grow up to be balanced adults with a positive vision for the future.
Besides giving the children a good home, we also teach them the importance of working together to build a sustainable world and achieve a better climate. Energy at the orphanage is supplied by solar panels and two wind turbines, while clean water comes from a borehole. As far as we can, we endeavour to work and live on the site in a way that is as carbon neutral as possible.
The children stay with us until they are 18 years old and after this we provide further assistance with their education.
Currently, an ‘in between-house’ is being constructed just 10 minutes away from the orphanage and this is being funded by our dear friends Pascale and Pascal from Luxembourg to which we are gratefully indebted and eternally thankful.
This will provide supervised accommodation for the young adults leaving the orphanage until they are ready to live independently. It is expected that they will reside there for some years to help them during their transition into full adulthood.
Running an orphanage is very expensive. Food, clothing, healthcare and education are not the only expenses we face and in adition, staff costs, funding for transport to and from school, insurance and maintaining the buildings and grounds must also be included.
The orphanage can only exist thanks to donations from sponsors to the organisation ‘Les Amis de Gambie’.