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Current Issues Newsletter Newsletter 01/13

Newsletter 01/13

Dear sponsors and members of "Help for West-Africa",
today we would like to keep you informed about our activities and projects with our first newsletter.

Container Shipping to Gambia

At the end of 2012 we were able to send again a container of relief supplies to The Gambia. At the beginning of January 2013 we were with a group of members / friends on site and we were able to accompany the unloading and distribution of the container's contents in the schoolyard of 


Lamin Daranka School immediately. In addition of the numerous donations of clothes, hospital beds, mattresses, several goods for hospitals and chain link fences we have to unload also the numerous parcels of the godfathers for their godchildren, as well as an enumeration of all other donations. It was impressive how quickly the many local volunteers have unloaded the 12-meter container. Very large was the childlike curiosity and pleasant anticipation, who will get all these things. The unloaded project-related matters were loaded on 3 trucks and taken away in the evening. Each of the group quickly realized that we would be on tasks in the next few days to hand over the individual donations of goods to the recipients. The Godfather parcels were deposited in a storage room of the school and were presented to the children on the following days.

Child Sponsorship

We can now announce that we have more than 300 sponsors. With this great contribution we can pay school fees plus 2 school uniforms and the daily hot lunch for each godchildren. If necessary, we also ensure medical care. Our first time traveling friends experienced firsthand the joy and patenschaftengratitude of the children who are very happy to be able to go to school. Every child has the chance to enable after a good education a better life for itself and also for the family. The highlight of our school work was then the distribution of the parcels from the Godfathers. With childlike curiosity, pleasant anticipation, but also with a certain respectful seriousness the children awaited that the name was called and they were able to receive the parcel. Extremely helpful were the so-called no-name packs, which have been provided by numerous sponsors of our foundation. These packs are mainly distributed to the children that do not have a sponsor and therefor their own package of a sponsor is not available. We thank all our sponsors and other supporters for their commitment and helpfulness. Help arrives, and we would like to send you the gratitude of the children on a direct way.

Cultivation of arable terrain

A permanent thrust of our development assistance amongst other things is helping rural municipalities in the cultivation of arable terrain. This specifically includes the fencing of fields, so that the plants can grow. Otherwise, the unprotected and growing plants are normally eaten by kultivierung1animals. With the fencing of fields the quality of life of a community is greatly improved, the products are consumed in the village itself and can also be sold on the market.
In January 2012 we have coached the people of Kappa village (about 60km removed from our school and training centre) by building a chain link fence around a field. In a container we brought a 400m length fence that was donated by the company WAFIOS. And we brought also a generator for power, a machine for friction sawing, welding equipment as well as metal rods and the tension wire. Under the guidance of our construction experts Falko Steinhilber and Walter Kuebler we have to create, together with the inhabitants of the village, the first 100m of the fence. Selected residents learned to work with generator, friction sawing and welding equipment as well as the construction of the bars, the attachment of the fence and the use of the tension wire. The remaining 300m fence to complete the square should then complete by the inhabitants . according our motto "Helping people help themselves". 
kultivierung2How great was the surprise and happiness when we came with a small group again to Kappa during the rainy season in August 2012. The fence was fully and professionally created, the entire arable land was fenced and we saw exemplary planted peanuts and collards as well as the domestic kasavaroot.
In January 2013, we brought a chain link fence to the village of Dankunku (about 200 km from the training center away). For the construction of the fence the educated people of Kappa come with their now acquired qualification to Dankunku. Together with the villagers they build the fence and share their know-how. This is for us a further proof (as well as motivation), that self-help works are ensured when it is specifically and earmarked as well as you have a strict control of sustainability.

Project "Water for Kappa"

After the enclosure of arable land in 2012, the women and men of the village Kappa have various seasonal crops such as various kinds of vegetables, peanuts, cassava (a kind of sweet potato). Much of this has contributed to improve the food situation and to a small economic benefit. Due the cultivation of chilli plant the fruits can now be sold to the training center of the skill-center from "Help for West Africa", where it is continued processed to the popular hot sauce rice.
The project "cultivation arable terrain" is in full swing, but the largest restriction is the water supply for the farm site in the 8 months of the dry season. Nearness the field is no borehole for a well and no hand pump for water promotion. Relatively far from the field there is indeed a working hand water pump in the village and people are always in queue to get water to put it to the field, because the pump is initially in use for domestic purposes by the villagers and by the teachers and children of the school. But also for the animals of the village, the water is urgently needed. The needed water for the land (10.000m2) must then ultimately be carried in buckets to the remote terrain.
To the most urgent necessity of the rural population, such as the agricultural and domestic empowerment of women, a qualitative and high quality education for the children and especially the food security for the village, urgently a borehole with hand pump in the area of arable land is needed.
That is why we have launched a new project "Water for Kappa". Please support us and the people in the village of Kappa, in which you send your donation with the description "Water for Kappa" to the following bank account:

Kreissparkasse Mössingen
Sort code: 641 500 20
Account: 3267077

Even small amounts will help us. We will then report regularly here about the progress of the project.
For a donation receipt please contact Rainer Kopf, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Renate Müller, 07473-6981.
Our society and all the inhabitants of the village of Kappa say thanks for the support.

Project "jam production"

marmelade1Our production of mango jam, honey, chili paste, etc. in our training center in Lamin Daranka School runs its own very well. To get the necessary additions we are of course extremely grateful for the donated glasses or money contributions.
Meanwhile, our relief project has more spread in the country. In 2011 the President of Gambia visited us in the production facility at school. After being personally convinced by the quality of the jam he acquired the commercially available stock.
marmelade2When we visited Gambia in August 2012 we met our local contact, Kalipha Jobe, and together we had an appointment with the Department of Commerce. The result of the appointment is a project agreement with the Ministry of Commerce. We will get the financial project-support of the state Gambia, and therefor we have to make sure that in the next 3 years 400 people in different villages in the country have training in the jam production. The running costs are covered thereby but for project-investment (glasses, etc.) we are more dependent on donations.
But the constant progress in this project makes us more confident that this self-help work will be also successfull.

Skill Center in Brikama

In our training center in Brikama, for example, young people get an education in sewing and clothing creation as well as forming typical hair styles. A major focus, however, is training to work with computer (PC). For this we have in the past supplied and installed numerous donated PCs and monitors. The successful training will be attested by a certificate. Herewith we offer young people a further opportunity to improve their education and thereby increase their employment chances. 
After finishing the courses in the evening, the classrooms are not used till next morning. The idea came up to offer in the evening the premises with the IT equipment as an internet cafe to the public. There is no comparable offer around the area and so our offer was accepted by the population with huge enthusiasm. Some evenings, the people are in a queue even outside of the building waiting to go inside to take advantage of the opportunities of the internet cafe. For using the premises and equipment a small fee is charged. The fee allows it now to cover some additional costs (including rent and electricity). Now the goal is to increase the income of the training center by increasing efficiency and effectiveness, so in the future the necessary replacement investments can even be supported. And again we have an another proof that self-help can be extremely successful.
As it is common in many central African countries, also in our training center sometimes unannounced the power fails without warning. Then in some cases a PC is damaged so that a re-use is not possible. That is why we are still depend on donations for the equipment.

Looking forward

At the beginning of 2014, we will be back again in The Gambia with a group of members and friends of the foundation. As usual, previously a container will be filled and shipped again. And as usual, we will continue to work on our projects and will inform you.
With this newsletter, we gave you a first glimpse of the current projects and issues. Further information are available on our internet site:

and on our Facebook page:

Recently, we also provide information on Twitter: HelpWestAfrica.

We are constantly endeavoring to improve the quality and quantity of information for sponsors, members and friends, therefor please let us know your impressions, suggestions for changes and improvements or other indications.
Only with your help and support we can continue our projects, please continue your donations therefor.
Please give the newsletter also to friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc., for information.

We thank you very much for your support on behalf of the people of The Gambia.

Your charity-foundation "Help for West-Africa e.V."
Renate Müller Rainer Kopf



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Kreissparkasse Mössingen
BLZ 641 500 20
KontoNr 3267077

IBAN DE23641500200003267077