Helping people help themselves. Concentrating on the essentials.
The village Jahaly is since 1988 the starting point of our projects in The Gambia. Jahaly is located on the south bank of the Gambia River – 270 km from the capital Banjul and the well-developed coastal region. Twice a year rice will be planted in the surrounding fields. The standing water in the rice fields is a year-round breeding ground for the larvae of the anopheles mosquito. This is the cause of the extremely high rate of malaria cases around Jahaly.
Since 1991 we operate the “Jahaly Health Centre”, the “Buschklinik” – in Germany also known as “Buschklinik Hattingen” or “Buschklinik Gambia”. 2003/2004 we have also built a Kindergarten with pre-school next to “Jahaly Health Centre”, the “Jahaly/Madina Kindergarten”. Initially designed and built for 240 children, in the academic year 2016/2017 360 children (2015/2016: 450) are here being taught and looked after every day. We also support four gardening projects for more than a thousand women from Jahaly and the neighboring village of Madina. Since 2010 in the two villages we build eco-friendly smoke-free stoves to replace traditional fireplaces. In collaboration with the German NGO “Friedensdorf (Peace Village) International” in Oberhausen, for severly ill Gambian children we organize in Germany free surgeries that can not be carried out in The Gambia. The sale of products of our Moringa plantation in Jahaly should help in the long term to financially secure our projects in The Gambia.
A brief overview on our projects in The Gambia you may read | here | (as at July 2017)
Please watch the video at the bottom of this page: Matthias Ketteler, chairman and founder of “Project Aid The Gambia”, was hosted in “One on One – The Exclusive” of GRTS Gambia Television with Kebba Dibba. They talk about the activities of Project Aid in The Gambia, how it all began 30 years ago, what are the organization´s plans for the future, why Moringa products are not effective against Malaria, and why it is key to discuss every new project with the local village people in advance.
Jahaly Health Centre (“Buschklinik”)
The “Jahaly Health Centre” serves about 45,000 patients per year – outpatients as well as inpatients – and is considered one of the country’s best health facilities. Since 2009 it has been recognized by the Gambian government as a “model clinic”. The clinic has several surgeries, two wards, a laboratory, a pharmacy, an ambulance car and a maternity ward. On the Campus of Jahaly Health Centre there is also a dental unit, that unfortunatley has been closed in the beginning of 2015 due to a lack of staff. A 20KW solar power system provides electricity round the clock 24/7. For a health facility up-country this is very special. In The Gambia big cities only have access to area-wide electrical power spply. In the villages Jahaly and Madina there is no electricity. The success of the clinic is based on regular renovations and maintenance, the last was carried out in 2013: all buildings got new roofs, tiles, sanitary units along with doors and windows made of aluminum, which is easy to maintain. All floors and walls are tiled. The patient beds are made out of concrete and are tiled. This may sound strange, but thus everything is hygienic and easy to keep clean. A Gambian state registered nurse and midwife is the Head of the clinic. Patients pay a consultancy fee obetween 0.30 € (children younger than five years old) and 0.60 € (children from 15 years old and adults). Prescribed drugs are free of charge. The salaries of the staff are higher than in comparable state run facilities. All members of staff and their families are given free accommodation within the campus. Each patient … | more |
Jahaly/Madina Kindergarten with nursery school
In 2004 Project Aid The Gambia opened the Jahaly/Madina kindergarten with preschool for 240 children right next to the “Jahaly Health Centre”. The cost for construction and operation of the first three years were financed through a fundraisng program of RTL German Television. The children aged between four and seven years come here to learn amongst others Reading, Writing and arithmetic, and are prepared for the primary school. They get a lunch every school day. The demand for places in kindergarten and pre-school has increased steadily in recent years. Since 2014 the introduction of afternoon lessons made it possible to now care for up to 480 children (academic year 2016/2017: 360, 2015/2016: 450, 2014/2015: 410). In benchmarking events with other kindergartens in the Gambia the Jahaly/Madina Kindergarten is gaining regularly top positions. All employees are provided with an apartment placed on the premises of Jahaly Health Centre … | more |
Project Aid The Gambia supports four gardening projects in the villages Jahaly and Madina by the construction of wells and fences. Over a thousand women from four different self-organised women’s committees cultivate their own vegetable beds in these gardens. The products contribute to a healthy diet of families and allow a little extra income by selling vegetables, spices etc. in local markets. The project keeps a tractor ready-to-use, which can be rented out by the local farmers. | more |
Eco-friendly smoke-free ovens
Since 2010, Project Aid The Gambia develops eco-friendly smoke-free stoves/ovens that are gradually replacing the traditional open fireplaces. The ovens save scarce and expensive firewood and reduce eye and respiratory diseases among women, as well as severe burns of children. Meanwhile, in the villages Jahaly and Madina 150 of these stoves were built (as of December 2014). Through the chimneys of the ovens, the “skyline” of the two villages has visibly changed. The villagers are providung the necessary sand and gravel for the construction of the ovens and send handymen to support our masons. The women of the villages are very excited about the new ovens. In 2014 for the first time since the existence of Jahaly Health Centre in the clinic we no longer had burn injuries to be treated. Especially small children at play next to open fires had been severely injured very often. | more |
Overseas treatment for Gambian children
In cooperation with the German NGO “Friedensdorf (Peace Village) International” Projcet Aid The Gambia organizes for severely ill and injured Gambian children urgent and often life-saving medical treatment in Germany. Project Aid advises parents in The Gambia, preparing medical documents, organizing flight tickets and visas for Germany. Children with e.g. congenital malformations, severe burns or chronic inflammation, which can not be cured in The Gambia will be treated mostly free of charge in hospitals throughout Germany. The children come without their parents to Germany. Up to their full recovery and return to The Gambia, the children live in Peace Village in Oberhausen/Germany. Since the beginning of the cooperation between Friedensdorf and Project Aid in June 2012 29 children from Gambia (as of December 2015) have been treated in Germany so far. | more |
Since 2012 we are establishing a Moringa tree plantation with 10,000 trees in an area behind Jahaly Heath Centre and Jahaly/Madina Kindergarten. Moringa oleifera is the most nutritious plant on earth. The production and sale of “The Gambia Moringa” products (leaf powder, tea, oil and soap) in Europe creates jobs in Jahaly. We hope to establish a sustainable financial base for our projects through the Moringa plantation. All proceeds from the sale goes directly back into the projects. | more |