Empowering girls in The Gambia

Empowering girls in The Gambia

Empowering girls in The Gambia

What a shock, an invite to the Republic of Gambia, West Africa! It was prolonged by President Yahya Abdulaziz Jemus Junkung Jemmah himself. I used to be the one girl in our US group of FSJ and Associates.

We have been requested to help President Yahya within the manufacturing of their Independence Day celebrations in February, to develop a global recording studio and to create an leisure course for college college students in Banjul. As well as, Vice President Isatul Njie-Saide requested us to assist with the Gambian Girls’s Empowerment Program.

Being a motivational speaker and devoted charity advocate, I used to be thrilled! After intense preparation and lots of photographs, I used to be off on my lengthy journey. A day and a half later, I used to be exhausted after I arrived in Banjul, nonetheless gagged by the stench of shepherds and the fumigation of pesticides in Dakar, Senegal.

The Gambia is situated on the west coast of Africa, close to the equator. It surrounds a delta on the sting of the desert. I used to be greeted by wandering goats and Ebu, my driver/bodyguard. I wasn’t allowed in public with out him. I shortly understood why.

Apart from being the 12 months of elections and threats from the opposition social gathering, the natives would seize my blond hair and fair-skinned arms after which wish to shake my hand. Their yellowish eyes advised their tales of poverty and illness. I stored considering, “Use quite a lot of sanitizer!” Illnesses are rampant there – AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, meningitis, West Nile virus, chook flu, and many others.

At ten {dollars} (US) for bottled water, I rationed it all through the day, saving drops to brush my enamel earlier than mattress. It did not matter, as a result of the bogs have been virtually non-existent. If I discovered one there could be no rest room paper and there could be rancid sewage on the ground. Apart from water, my eating regimen consisted of grapefruit, pineapple, pastries, meatless pizza, and moldy cheese.

Gambians think about Individuals to be rich as a result of the common employee earns just one greenback (US) a day, works six days per week and is paid as soon as a month. Though girls received the correct to vote two years in the past, most should not have the correct to work exterior their household commune. From then on, wretched girls and kids abound amongst vacationers who feverishly beg.

Muslims characterize 95% of the inhabitants. A Muslim man can marry 4 wives, every having 5 kids on common. With twenty-five hungry mouths to feed, most of their cash is spent on rice and beans. As a result of malnutrition, it is not uncommon to see kids with bloated bellies and bony legs and arms.

By regulation, when a girl marries, she is required to transform to her husband’s faith; due to this fact, Muslim males will intentionally hunt down Christian girls. Furthermore, Muslim faculties present free training in comparison with public faculties with excessive charges. This creates a non secular stronghold on kids from youth.

One other methodology of final management is to make use of witch physician voodoo. Wives are threatened with a hex of dying in the event that they disobey or go away their husbands. In actuality, it’s not the hexagon that may trigger their disappearance; it’s malnutrition, illness, lack of training and lack of revenue.

Although Gambian girls stay in a male-dominated society, their spirit seeks reality and dignity. Throughout Christian church companies, Muslim girls typically spy over the again partitions exterior whereas listening to the sermon on the loudspeakers. They’re camouflaged in a number of layers of material to cover their id.

I used to be honored to be invited to the Presidential Dinner celebrations and thrilled to mingle with different world leaders, however my spotlight was inspiring college students in Banjul to stay fulfilling lives and be hopeful. The younger women have been so grateful; they gave me a set of scarves.

African life is tough! Their each day challenges are to search out the necessities – meals, clothes and shelter. The important thing to empowerment is to turn into much less to turn into extra. Empowerment comes at least anticipated second, inflicting an individual to bravely rise above the circumstances round them.

I’ll all the time keep in mind the benevolent spirit of the Gambian individuals; they’re probably the most swish I’ve ever identified. I do not know if I’d willingly volunteer for an additional tour of service in Africa; but when requested I’d most likely keep there once more.

#Empowering #girls #Gambia

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