13 November 2016
Day 11 – Saturday
Once a month on Saturdays The Gambia has a day where the people have to clean and tidy their neighbourhood which includes picking up and properly disposing of the surrounding litter and rubbish. Today was such a day. To encourage people to do this, all but essential traffic is banned from the roads until 1.30pm. We could not therefore go out in the morning, so combined a bit of R&R with starting to put together some microscopy kits for future use.
We had some microscopes and equipment brought over in an earlier visit.
In the afternoon we set off to Wandifa’s compound. We were very pleased to hear that Mo Lamin was much better.
The purpose of our visit was to inaugurate a small loan scheme for women living in a village or local community. The scheme is designed to help women set up small businesses and earn themselves a bit of money. In our scheme each of six women are lent 1,800 Dalasi for a period of six months with the loan repaid by monthly instalments over that period. At the end of the six months all of the loans should have been repaid and the total money is then available to lend to a new group. Each of the women had to state what they were going to do. The ideas the women had were generally of buying in bulk and selling in smaller quantities. Examples of these include buying a sack of onions and selling in smaller quantities, buying a sack of fertilizer and selling it in smaller quantities of approximately ½ kilos and buying a large container of cooking oil and selling it in ½ litre cups
Mariama, Wandifa’s wife, is coordinating this and will be responsible for accounting and collecting repayments which will be deposited in a bank account which will be opened to handle this. We wish them every success.
Pippa had brought over from the UK a good number of children’s clothes which had been made by Esther and a group of her friends in Horsham. There were dresses for the girls and shorts for the boys. All these had been home-sewn. A large number of children suddenly appeared and the clothes were given a good home, matching as far as possible sizes with the children. We are very grateful to all those involved in their making.
I am having problems uploading photos today. I will try again later.