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Tagged: Project Aid The Gambia

Raissa Neumann und Marina Sedrakyan vom Friedensdorf am Flughafen Banjul
Raissa Neumann und Marina Sedrakyan vom Friedensdorf am Flughafen Banjul

On 09.12.2022, a team from Friedensdorf (Peace Village) International in Oberhausen, Germany, accompanied eight Gambian children who had received medical treatment in Germany back to The Gambia.

The children were handed over to their parents at Banjul airport. Peace Village staff members Raissa Neumann and Marina Sedrakyan informed the parents in detail about the course of the operation(s) in Germany and gave tips for further follow-up care at home. Two of the children will have to travel to Germany again in March to continue their medical treatment.

In April 2022, the Peace Village team had brought a total of thirteen children who cannot receive adequate medical care in The Gambia to Germany for treatment. In medical terms, this involves the surgical treatment of, for example, oesophageal burns, the consequences of burns or urological and orthopaedic deformities.

Project Aid The Gambai supports the Peace Village in preparing the treatment trips, procures visas and medical documents and looks after the parents while their children are away. All costs for travel, treatment and stay in Germany are covered by the Peace Village. The hospitals in Germany usually operate and treat the children free of charge.

The children travel to Germany without their parents and live in the Peace Village together with many children from other crisis regions of the world until they recover and return to The Gambia.

The cooperation between Peace Vilage and Project Aid The Gambia has existed since 2012. 89 Gambian children have received overseas medical treatment in Germany since then.

During this 17th aid mission to The Gambia, the Peace Village team did not take any children back to Germany for treatment. Six new cases eligible for this were presented to the team. Nine former patients received follow-up medication and medical supplies.

The next Peace Village relief mission to The Gambia is planned for March 2023.

Der neue Vorstand der Projekthilfe (von links nach rechts): Ulfert Engelkes, Rolf Kuhlemann, Rieke Wiese, Matthias Ketteler
Der neue Vorstand der Projekthilfe (von links nach rechts): Ulfert Engelkes, Rolf Kuhlemann, Rieke Wiese, Matthias Ketteler

At the 2022 general meeting of Projekthilfe Gambia (Project Aid The Gambia, Germany) on 25 November 2022 in Essen, Germany, board member Jürgen Heuer announced his resignation for reasons of age. With the resignation of Frank Heuer in June 2022, two board positions were thus not filled.

The general meeting approved a proposed amendment to the statutes, according to which the board of Project Aid, Germany, consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of five members.

The General Assembly elected Rolf Kuhlemann as a new member of the Board, so that in the current term of office (until the General Assembly in 2023) the Board consists of four members: Matthias, Ketteler, Ulfert Engelkes, Rieke Wiese and Rolf Kuhlemann.

Rolf Kuhlemann, born in 1950, studied electrical engineering at the Ruhr University and worked in the energy industry until his retirement. He is married and has two children. As a private citizen, he now serves as a member of the Board.

In 2010, Rolf Kuhlemann came into close contact with Matthias Ketteler and helped get the five Toyota Land Cruisers ready for the 2011 humanitarian convoy tour to Jahaly. He then took part in the tour as cook and driver of the “kitchen van”.

“The tour with a great team, the enthusiastic welcome by the villagers of Jahaly and the impressions I made in the first two weeks on the ground made me want to get intensively involved in Project Aid,” says Rolf Kuhlemann. “In 2011 and the years after, I was in Jahaly many times and, among other things, took care of setting up the solar power supply with battery storage.”

The Board will now register the amendment to the statutes with the competent court of association – German local court of Essen. We will then publish the new version of the statutes on this website.

To view the statutes valid until 25.11.2022, please visit the document | here | (German only)

Der blaue Bus im Kinderdorf Bottrop in Gambia
Der blaue Bus im Kinderdorf Bottrop in Gambia

The participants of the 2022 fundraising tour from northern Germany to The Gambia have all returned safely to Germany – and are now processing the many experiences on the adventurous 7,000-kilometre journey.

All four tour vehicles have found new owners in the meantime.

The ambulance was handed over to the project. The vehicle now has a Gambian registration, number plate and insurance and will be used as one of two ambulances at the Jahaly Health Centre. We checked the vehicle after the long journey, rebuilt it a bit inside and put project aid stickers on the outside. We use the ambulance to take our patients from Jahaly to the hospital in Bansang, 40 kilometres away, for further treatment if necessary. We donated our “old” ambulance to Kanifing General Hospital.

The blue minibus (Mercedes Sprinter) with 8 seats was bought from us by the Children’s Village Bottrop in The Gambia, financed by the Otto Hahn High School in Dinslaken. The vehicle is to be used as a school bus there.

The white minibus was taken over by a Gambian.

The station wagon was bought by Ablai, a former driver of the project in Gambia. He is using the vehicle to expand his small taxi business.

All proceeds from the sale will go to our projects in The Gambia.

The 2022 fundraising tour of the Northern Regional Group of Projekthilfe Gambia with ten participants led in October from Rodenkirchen, Germany, via France, Spain, Morocco, the Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal to the village of Jahaly in The Gambia. Almost 7,000 kilometres in fourteen days.

Watch two short reels on Instagram about the fundraising Tour | here | and | here |. Read the Tour diary (German only) | here | 

Das neue Analysegerät
Das neue Analysegerät

From the remaining balance of our Ukraine fundraising campaign, we bought an urgently needed piece of equipment for the OHMATDYT Regional Children’s Hospital in Lviv. The handover on 27.10.2022 in Lviv had to be postponed by one day. The reason: power failure and air alarm.

The innovative device creates antibiograms that provide information about the effectiveness of an antibiotic. In this way, correct therapy can be initiated as quickly as possible in the case of bacterial infections. This shortens the patients’ length of stay in hospital and more children can be treated.

Half of the costs amounting to 35,000 euros were covered by the association HOPE – we help children e.V. in Baden-Württemberg. We were only able to raise our share thanks to a generous donation from the Alte Kachelofenfabrik cultural centre in Neustrelitz. 10,000 euros had been raised there in the summer through an art campaign.

Watch the commissioning of the unit in this short video | here |

The staff in Lviv are currently being trained in the operation of the device. Training as well as a two-year warranty and maintenance are included in the purchase price.

We thank Tetyana Balaschowa and all donors from the bottom of our hearts.

Our appeal for donations for Ukraine has brought in around 80,000 Euros. Most recently, we received 3,000 euros from a private summer party organised by Ulla and Frank Heuer in Hattingen and 422.54 euros from two collections by the Hanerau-Hademarschen parish. We would like to express our sincere thanks for this.

In June, we collected medical equipment from a doctor’s office liquidation at the Malteser Education Centre in Wetzlar and had it transported to Hospital No. 1 in Drogobych, 80 kilometres south of Lviv, at the beginning of August.

Finally, we received 40,000 Euros in donations from the RTL German TV telethon fundraising program “Spendenmarathon”. From this, we will deliver surgical materials to the children’s heart clinic in Lviv.

We had already sent more than six tonnes of medical supplies to Lviv with two transports in March and June 2022. At the beginning of June, the two board members Matthias Ketteler, Ulfert Engelkes and association member Peter Kerkemeier travelled to Lviv in western Ukraine themselves to get an idea of the situation on the ground.

We can confirm and have seen with our own eyes: the staff in the clinics there are doing a great job.


Wir sind bereit
Wir sind bereit

The northern regional group of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, has started its fundraising tour to Gambia, which has been postponed several times. Ten association members and four cars set off on the 6,500 kilometre journey to the village of Jahaly at 5:00 this morning.

“The world is closer than you think. It’s great that you are putting so much personal commitment and heart and soul into helping in The Gambia and being there. What you are doing makes me a little proud!” This was said by Mayor Harald Stindt yesterday afternoon during the official farewell of the tour participants in front of the Stadland-Rodenkirchen town hall.

The group is on the road with two minibuses, an ambulance and a passenger car station wagon. It is planned to use the ambulance as a replacement vehicle for the Jahahly Health Centre. The other vehicles will be sold to enable the buyers to build up their own livelihoods, for example as minibus/taxi entrepreneurs.

The fundraising tour leads through France, Spain, Morocco, the Western Sahara and Senegal to The Gambia in West Africa. The group plans to arrive in The Gambia on 27.10.2022.

The tour had to be postponed three times. In 2017 because of the unclear political situation in The Gambia after the fall of ex-president Yayah Jammeh, in 2020 and 2021 because of Corona/COVID-19.

We report on the progress of the fundraising tour with photos and videos on Facebook here  and Instagram here


Matthias Ketteler, founder and chairperson of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, has been awarded the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the German President for his commitment in The Gambia.

Dr Sascha Dewender, Mayor of the German City of Bochum, presented Matthias Ketteler with the certificate and insignia on behalf of the German President on 10 August 2022.

During a short ceremony at Bochum City Hall, Dr Dewender, representing Lord Mayor Thomas Eiskirch, said:

“Such selfless commitment as that of Matthias Ketteler enriches our society – and far beyond the city limits! Education and health are the highest goods we can share with other people. Together with his comrades-in-arms in the association, Mr Ketteler does extraordinary things, and I am pleased that he has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon for this.”

Matthias Ketteler accepted the high award in his immediate family circle.

“The award is not for me personally, but for the idea of living solidarity and taking responsibility for the weaker ones,” said Matthias Ketteler. “It’s an award for our work in Jahaly with more than one million patients and thousands of children in our kindergarten to whom we provide early childhood education.”

Matthias Ketteler dedicates this award to all staff members in The Gambia as well as to all members, donors and supporters of Project Aid in Germany: “I gladly accept the award – on behalf of all of us.”

Matthias Ketteler, born in 1961, trained as a health care worker and nurse after graduating from high school (1987). He is a founding member of Project Aid The Gambia, both in Germany and in The Gambia, and has been a board member ever since, with one year’s interruption. He is married and has three children.

Matthias Ketteler is the owner of “Cognito Informationssysteme GmbH & Co KG”. In 2004/2005 he spent a whole year in The Gambia together with his family. In February 2009, Matthias Ketteler was appointed Special Ambassador for Rural Health by the Gambian government – with full diplomatic status.

On the board of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, Matthias Ketteler mainly takes care of the coordination of the projects and the daily exchange with the project office in The Gambia.


After many weeks of preparation, Project Aid The Gambia launches its revamped Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn presence.

In cooperation with Project Aid, the digital agency helllicht, Frankfurt/M., developed an overarching concept for the association’s social media presence. Uniform graphic elements make Project Aid The Gambia unmistakable and recognisable in all social media channels. We at Project Aid want to become more visible as a non-profit brand for the young generation.

Starting today, we will regularly report about us and our activities in different formats. The curved lines in the graphics symbolise the River Gambia, which gives the country its distinctive character.

Our vision: We want to sustainably improve health, education and employment in rural Gambia.

Our mission: We work transparently, effectively, provide help for self-help and represent The Gambia’s concerns in Germany.

As a first step, we have unified the names of all our social media profiles. Our appearances on all social media channels are now called like our association in Germany: Projekthilfe Gambia (Project Aid The Gambia). In this context, we have parted with the name “Buschklinik” (bush clinic). The name had historical reasons. In the meantime, it is no longer appropriate. The “bush clinic” is the Jahaly Health Centre – a modern, clean health station. It no longer has anything to do with the bush. Friends in The Gambia have also pointed this out to us. We are very grateful for that.

The goal of our activities on social media: On social media, we establish Project Aid The Gambia as a voice for development in The Gambia. We show how good deeds can be carried to the outside world even as a small association and how the young generation can be carried along. This is of great importance because in the medium term there will also be a change of generations among the people who run Project Aid. Through informative, personal and honest storytelling, we want to inspire followers for our projects, for us as an association and for The Gambia as a country.

The digital agency helllicht (claim: “We are the good guys”) created the concept on a voluntary basis as part of its CSR activities. In this way, they are taking on social responsibility and showing social commitment. We thank them for this from the bottom of our hearts.

Ulfert Engelkes, board member of Project Aid The Gambia: “We have the stories, and helllicht has the expertise on how to present our content professionally. It’s a good match.”

The next step is already being worked on at helllicht: a revised website. We are really looking forward to our new business card on the web. It will be ready in autumn. By the way: with the publication of our new website, you can find us on the net at

Here are the links to the social media channels of Project Aid:






Please follow us :-) Thank you very much.



Frank Heuer, one of the founders of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, has announced his resignation as a member of the board of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany,  with effect from 07.06.2022.

Frank has bid farewell from the board to members and supporters of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, with this message:


“Hello dear members and supporters of Project Aid.

After 35 years as a co-founder and board member, I have decided to no longer be available to serve on the board with immediate effect.

Purely personal reasons have led me to take this step.

I would like to emphasise that my decision has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the work on the ground in The Gambia or the current actions in Ukraine. Excellent work is still being done here, which deserves every support.

Of course, I will remain a member and – if it is desired and/or necessary – I will continue to be available for selective cooperation.

Believe me, this step was not easy for me after such a long time. But I believe that this is the right decision.

I wish the board and the association all the best for the future and that the problems coming up can be solved successfully.”




The Board has noted Frank’s resignation with regret and thanks him for his service to the Board over so many decades.

Frank Heuer was a member of the board of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, without interruption since day one. Among other things, he was responsible for the financial accounting of the association and for the administration of members, supporters and donors. He has often organised and led group trips of members and friends of Project Aid, Germany, to The Gambia.

The board has distributed Frank Heuer’s responsibilities to other board members and is already looking for a successor.


The Board of Projekthilfe Gambia e.V. (Project Aid The Gambia, Germany)

Matthias Ketteler

Ulfert Engelkes

Jürgen Heuer

Rieke Wiese


On Tuesday, 07.06.2022, Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, started a second aid transport with medical supplies to Lviv, Ukraine. On Thursday, 09.06.2022, the transport reached the city in western Ukraine. To coordinate further aid deliveries, three members of Project Aid visited Lviv last week.

A van set off from Bochum on Tuesday and brought relief supplies to Lviv. The largest part is destined for the children’s heart clinic in Lviv. The medical consumables will ensure the clinic’s operation for three months.

The children’s heart clinic was evacuated from Kiev to Lviv in mid-March. Since then, 500 patients have been waiting for treatment. 45 children have already been operated on by the team led by head physician Dr Andriy Krjevych.

“Here we can only do one or two operations a day,” says the chief physician. “But that is better than nothing.”

The Ukrainian Ministry of Health had asked Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, for support and sent a list of materials urgently needed at the clinic.

Project Aid was able to procure a large part of the materials needed. Value: approx. 26,500 Euros. The supplies were financed from the proceeds of a fundraising campaign for Ukraine that Projekct Aid had started on 10.03.2022.

The total proceeds of the fundraising campaign so far amount to approx. 68,000 Euros.

40,000 euros of this have already been spent on the 1st aid transport. On 30 March 2022, Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, in cooperation with the German medical aid organisation action medeor e.V., had sent a truck with 5.6 tons of medicines and medical supplies for the emergency hospital in Lviv. Action medeor had provided additional relief supplies worth 25,000 euros and covered the transport costs.

The 2nd aid transport contains additional infusion equipment worth 1,500 euros as well as ten used infusion machines for a clinic in the city of Mykolajiw in south-eastern Ukraine, among others. The equipment was donated by the Ruhrland Clinic in Essen, Germany. The city of Mykolayiv is under Russian fire.

On Thursday, 02 June 2022 – on the 99th day of the war – Project Aid’s chairperson Matthias Ketteler and two other members of the association were in Lviv for a day to see the situation for themselves on site at the children’s heart clinic.

Matthias Ketteler says: “What impressed me most was how much love and affection the doctors, nurses and caregivers here have for the children and their parents. You have to see that for yourself. It’s unbelievable.”

The Project Aid team also visited two other projects in Lviv that could be supported with future donations – a regional children’s hospital and the organisation “Where Hope Lives”, which, among other things, supplies a large number of internally displaced persons with food and hygiene articles.

The team led by Project Aid’s chairperson Matthias Ketteler set off by car from Bochum, germany, towards Ukraine at midday on Wednesday (01.06.2022) and returned on Friday evening (03.06.2022) after travelling more than 3,000 kilometres.

You can get an impression of the journey in this highlights story on Instagram | here |

The donation account of Ukraine Aid of Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, is now exhausted for the time being. We have spent the entire donation amount of 68,000 Euros on medical supplies and delivered them to Ukraine.

Project Aid the Gambia, Germany, is continuing the donation campaign and will organise a third aid transport in due course. A further donation of 10,000 euros has already been announced.



** Update donation status: 68,011,33 euros (31.05.2022/8 am)**

Project Aid The Gambia, Germany, is launching an appeal for donations and an aid campaign for a hospital in Lviv/Lemberg in Ukraine.

Putin’s war against Ukraine is a war that violates international law and has no regard for the civilian population. More than 12,000 civilians have been killed, 61 hospitals have been shelled. In Mariupol, a maternity and children’s clinic was destroyed, 17 staff members were injured, some of them seriously.

The war has already caused immeasurable suffering. Millions of people are on the run. The situation in Ukraine itself is catastrophic. The terrible descriptions, videos and photos of the situation of the civilian population in Ukraine are almost unbearable. We are shocked and want to do something.

The German Board of Project Aid he Gambia has decided on a relief action for Ukraine. Our statutes make such an action possible. Project Aid Chairperson Matthias Ketteler has already personally handed over two carloads full of food and hygiene articles to aid organisations at the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing at Dolhobyczow.

Now we are organising a large aid delivery with medicines, surgical supplies etc. for the largest hospital in Lviv (Львів), Ukraine, the “Lviv Clinical Hospital of Emergency Medical Care”.

Hospital director Oleg Samchuk writes to us: “Our doctors here work day and night. The west of Ukraine is still largely spared from warfare. But here, too, we have to go to the shelter again and again when there is an air raid alert. Many injured soldiers and civilians are brought to the Lviv region. We hope for your support so that we can provide good medical treatment for the many injured. Please do not wait too long with your support.” The whole letter | here |

If you would like to know what kind of materials we will buy from your donations at the medical aid organisation action medeor – the list we received from Lviv can be found | here |

Our heartfelt request: support our relief campaign with your donation.

We accept donations (please no donations in kind!)

– via our website | here |. Please mark the third donation option “I want to support the work of Project Aid The Gambia with a donation”. In the further course you can enter “Ukrainehilfe” as the intended purpose.
– as a direct transfer to our donation account at Sparkasse Hattingen, account no. 50963, account number 43051040, IBAN DE20 4305 1040 0000 0509 63, BIC: WELADED1HTG 

– simply scan the QR code below with the banking app on your smartphone. The account number and intended use are already entered. If you need a donation receipt, please enter your address.










If you can privately host refugees from Ukraine, please register here:

We thank you very much for your support.

Yours sincerely, Project Aid The Gambia / Projekthilfe Gambia e.V.

The Board

Matthias Ketteler, Frank Heuer, Ulfert Engelkes, Jürgen Heuer, Rieke Wiese