The Gambian Project
We are a small charity working towards providing better facilities in both health and education in a small rural community in The Gambia. Our interests and projects are centred in the village of Nyofelleh in Kombo South District of the West Coast Region, near the town of Gunjur. We became registered as a charity in March 2000. Previously we had been working in the locality since 1994. Nyofelleh and surrounding area has an estimated population of around 2500 people. The people here represent several different ethnic groups with their own language ,Mandinka, Jola, Fula, Karoninka and Manjahgo.
The Derek Bailey Foundation is a non political and non religious charity and we work with all the people within this area irrespective of differences of religion, race, creed or political belief.
The Gambia is a small country with few natural resources. The infrastructure is relatively undeveloped and communication links between areas are limited. Travel for the local population between towns and villages is often arduous, time consuming and expensive. This was an issue both in getting people to health centres for medical care and getting children into schools. Travel between communities is a particular problem during the rainy season as there are few surfaced roads in The Gambia and tracks linking villages become virtually impossible to use.
Our efforts to date have been to provide firstly a school for the younger children who previously had not been able to go, or had to travel long distances to school. The school opened in 1994 with 70 pupils, 2 untrained teachers, 1 blackboard and some chalk! In 1999 we began the construction of a health centre. The clinic was completed by 2000 and we can now treat people in the village for Malaria, minor injuries and illnesses. Until recently we only had semi trained nursing staff in the clinic. However over the years we had noticed an increased tendency of local women choosing to give birth in the clinic rather than face an arduous journey to the nearest town. In 2015 we added a maternity unit to our clinic and now have a fully qualified midwife and 2 trained nurses in addition to some support staff of local people.
Our current projects will be will be outlined in further detail on our Current Project Page.
From small beginnings much progress has been made largely because of the kind donations made by our regular donors and other contributions from our supporters. We also hold several fund raising events throughout the year. It is crucial that this continues and we need and value your ongoing help. If you wish to support us we can be contacted at any of the contacts outlined on our Contact Page.
If you are holidaying in The Gambia you would receive a warm welcome at the school or clinic. Nyofelleh is near the town of Gunjur and can be quite easily reached by taxi from the main holiday resorts.