Sunday, June 25, 2017

Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Urgent Appeal

Article posted on October - 21 - 2008

URGENTLY NEEDED: Mobile Clinic Vehicle

Our most pressing priority at this time is to raise funds for our MOBILE CLINIC to venture out deeply into the distant provinces and bring life-saving medications and medical care to people who have likely never seen a doctor before.

The mobile clinic must be able to withstand

  • the punishment of the Gambian roads
  • the scorching sub-Saharan sun in the dry season
  • the drenching, relentless rain in the rainy season

and still be going strong at the end of the day, ready to go out again the next day!

The Gambian people are waiting for us. Please help us get to them.

URGENTLY NEEDED: Help for the Mandinari Community

URGENTLY NEEDED: Mobile Clinic Vehicle

Our most pressing priorities at this time are two-fold …

We need to furnish and renovate the MANDINARI HEALTH CENTER in order to bring much needed health care to the Mandinari community.

We must:

  • initiate renovations and build a perimeter fence
  • install solar panels for electricity
  • connect the clinic to running water
  • obtain medications and equipment

The Mandinari Community is waiting for us. Please help us to help them.

YouTube

Article posted on October - 17 - 2008

Through a generous committment to the Clinton Global Initiative, YouTube has created a non-profit initiative which allows 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations to take advantage of a special, enhanced broadband channel to broadcast their message.

We are extremely delighted to have been accepted to this program and to have been given our own channel. Our first two presentations have been uploaded in March 2008. More will be added in the near future. You can review our video clips via www.youtube.com by typing “Healing Hands Gambia” into the search box or by clicking on the appropriate link, here on our website.

Incidentally, our YouTube channel offers the option of donating to Healing Hands of Gambia, directly via YouTube through a non-profit Google link. Please look for the “DONATE” button next to the video window.

Our YouTube page: http://uk.youtube.com/user/healinghandsofgambia

Rotary Club of Leeds

Article posted on October - 17 - 2008

In February of 2008 our President, Dr. Ingrid Feder Sidibeh, was fortunate to travel to Leeds, England, to visit the Rotary Club of Leeds which had graciously offered an invitation in order to learn about Healing Hands of Gambia.

Dr. Feder Sidibeh had met one of its members – who has since joined our Board of Directors – when she was in the Gambia to lecture to the students at the University of the Gambia, School of Medicine, and to provide medical care at the Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital in Serekunda. She was warmly received and had the opportunity to discuss the difficulties of the Gambian people in great depth.

We were encouraged and happy to learn that the Rotary Club of Leeds has pledged to support us, and Dr. Feder Sidibeh has agreed to return to Leeds in the future to report on our progress.

The Gambia

Article posted on October - 17 - 2008

The Gambia has been called “The Smiling Coast“. Indeed, the people have much to smile about. Old lessons about caring for one’s neighbor and family have not been lost as they have in the “more developed world.” Family ties mean something. People are not forced to struggle alone.

However, poverty is a significant and overwhelming problem. Many families must spend whatever dalasi they possess on food, clothing and other items necessary for survival. Often this leaves no money for medical care or medications, causing much hardship and unnecessary suffering.

The World Health Organization data on the Gambia is compelling. Currently, life expectancy at birth is a mere 56 years for men, 59 years for women, which is far removed from the longevity we have come to take for granted in our world.

While the situation was much more grave in 1973 when the  people could expect to live to an age of 33, on average, and while great strides have been made to improve health and well-being in the Gambia, much more can and must be done.

The World Health Report 2006 points out how “in this first decade of the 21st century, immense advances in human well-being coexist with extreme deprivation.” Fortunately, there are solutions, but these depend on the involvement of everyone. They must be based on global solidarity and united efforts across longitudes and latitudes.

The Gambia forms a narrow enclave into the Republic of Senegal with the Atlantic Ocean forming its western boundary. With a surface area of ~11,000 sq.km. and a population of ~1.5 million people, it represents one of the most populated regions in Africa while being ranked as one of the poorest countries by the World Health Organization.

The Gambia is sub-divided into five administrative districts:

Western, Lower River, Central River, Upper River, North Bank

The Western division is the most densely populated and also the site of most tourist “hot spots.” It consists of beautiful beaches, wonderful resorts (which the vast majority of Gambians would never be able to afford) and features the capital, Banjul, as well as several other larger cities such as Bakau, Brikama and Serekunda.

Services in this region are fairly good. Almost all private clinics, several government health centers as well as The Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital are located there. On the other hand, hardships medical and otherwise are most acutely felt in the regions further inland.

While many Gambians reside in the cities, where they can find greater opportunities, a person’s proximity to available services cannot guarantee that he or she is able to afford them. In addition, many urban workers support large families in the distant provinces who are utterly dependent on them, such that every dalasi earned or saved has to stretch for long distances and over many heads. “Luxuries” such as medical care, while representing a great and real concern to most Gambians, simply have to be put on hold in order to put food on the table.

Benefit Concert

Article posted on September - 2 - 2008

While Healing Hands of Gambia has no particular religious affiliations and while our board members represent most of the world religions as well as multiple nationalities, we were extremely pleased and grateful when the Trinity Lutheran Church of Vernon, Connecticut, came forward and organized a Coffeehouse Benefit Concert for us. The success of this concert, which took place on September 13th, 2008, exceeded our expectations by far, and we are extremely touched by the outpouring of love and support we have received.

Trinity members Gary Benevides, Kathy King, Michelle King, Steve Muron and Aija Zeidenbergs presented a wide variety of music and sacrificed much of their time and energy for months before the event even took place. Pastor Tim Oslovich generously opened the doors of his church – and kept them open until late in the evening – while his wife, Synje, wrote an extensive and wonderful article about us, which was published in the Vernon/Rockville Horizons, September 2008 issue.

The benefit concert was taped for public access television and will be shown locally. We are due to receive a copy of the program, excerpts of which will then appear on our YouTube Non-Profit broadband channel. The concert was accentuated by a brief presentation given by Dr. Ingrid Feder Sidibeh during the intermission in which she introduced the audience to the Gambia, its people and their needs. Also in attendance was Buba Ceesay, our valued board member, who generally resides in Serekunda, but who was in town for one of our board meetings. In any case, we have gained many new friends and have formed a lasting relationship with the incredible Trinity community!

Photos 2008

Article posted on August - 17 - 2008

Pictures by Dawda Sidibeh, Vice President & CFO / Executive Board of Directors of Healing Hands of Gambia, Inc. ® on his trip to the Gambia in August 2008.

Photos 2007

Article posted on March - 17 - 2007

Pictures by Ida Amaral, Secretary & Treasurer / Executive Board of Directors of Healing Hands of Gambia, Inc. ® on her trip to the Gambia in March 2007.

Happy New Year

Article posted on December - 23 - 2006

Happy New Year!

Now that the new year has arrived, we look forward to the months to come, wondering what they might bring us. Many of us have made new year’s resolutions. We have vowed to quit smoking or to take off the extra weight we carry, for instance. Without a doubt, the vast majority of us would like to count on a healthier and happier future, for ourselves and our loved ones.

Perhaps it is time for gratitude as well. Gratitude for our own privileged circumstances and for the incredible fortune of having been born in our part of the world into our lives, instead of some distant place which some might call a “developing country.” How about extending our compassion to reach those not as fortunate as we are? How about including them in our thoughts and efforts?

People all over the world are really more alike than they are different, no matter who they are or where they live.

All of us, all over the world, as different as we may be from one another, share certain desires and needs. We wish to live free from persecution and harm, pray that our children and loved ones are safe and healthy, and that our elders may enjoy their final years with their dignity and health preserved.

Sincerely,

Healing Hands of Gambia ®
POB 638 / East Lyme, CT 06333 / USA
POB 2369 / Serekunda / The Gambia
Phone/Fax (860) 739 5986
www.healinghands-gambia.org

Photos 2004

Article posted on April - 19 - 2004

Pictures by João Leitão, Advisory Board of Healing Hands of Gambia, Inc. ® on his trip to the Gambia in April 2004.

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