In The Gambia, over 66.000 children grow up without their parents and this has a significant and fundamental impact on the emotional, physical and intellectual development of these children. This is why we started to build an orphanage in Sinchu Alhajie in 2005. Thanks to the help of many sponsors and volunteers it was able to open its doors in 2009.
It has become a place to call home for 25 children, of which six young adults have already left. Three children have been reunited with their biological family and three other children now live on their own as young adults. Sometimes the family of a child may suddenly appear at our front door, even after ten or more year and often, we are not even aware that this child had a family at all. We’ve been cooperating with the Gambian government to assess whether the child can be reunited with their family.
19-year-old Ramatoulie lives at our supervised apartment, located very near to our orphanage. There, she is taught how to become an independent adult whilst she completes her studies. At the current time, eighteen children from ages eleven and older are provided with a safe, secure and nurturing home, whereby they can develop and grow within a loving family, receive a good education and feel safe, in order to become fruitful adults with a positive and bright future ahead of them.
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.
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.