The UK-based charity aidgambia TCHC started in 2011. It gained an HMRC reference number in March 2015. From that moment, every £ donated by a UK tax payer gains an extra 25 pence in matched funding (GiftAid).
THE PURPOSES OF THE CHARITY ARE
- To relieve sickness and to preserve the health of the people of The Gambia
- To pay particular attention to children, women, the elderly and the vulnerable
- To support the work of professionals in the health field
- To support services that aim to combat recurring health issues such as the effects of malaria and other ailments common to The Gambia
- To advance the education of staff and patients in all health-related areas not normally provided by the statutory authorities
Our initial five-year project supported the work of the Tallinding Children’s Health Centre between 2013 and 2018. This project ended with a five year review in December 2018 with extremely positive outcomes from a clinical, financial and operational perspective. The local Council took over the management of the successful Centre, This has now allowed the Trustees to re-direct the Charity to a broader focus on future activities such as The Bendon Bursary and other health-related causes operating in The Gambia.
Chair’s 6 month Report: October 2109 – March 2020
Since the visit to The Gambia in November, the trustees have held the annual AGM on 21st November 2019. This focussed on reviewing the year’s activities and setting out priorities for 2020 to:
- extend the Bendon Bursary
- review and reformat the website
- increase our products fundraising such as spectacles and recon hardware
- explore and develop links in The Gambia to establish a broader network and range of activities
In January 2020, two of the trustees visited The Gambia. Our first meeting was with both of the current Bendon Bursary beneficiaries, Chernor and Lamin. Second tranche bursaries were handed over along with a recon laptop to Lamin Njie (Chernor had already received one in November). The new role of Clinical Advisor to the trustees (CAT) was discussed and happily both Chernor and Lamin agreed to take on the role. This will enable them to be the eyes and ears of the Charity in The Gambia and because of the clinical expertise of both CATs, the trustees are now more confident to explore future health-related activities.
The first CAT-initiated activity was to set up a meeting with representatives of a charity called Eye Care For All to explore possible collaboration. Some of the issues discussed were the possible contribution to sponsored eye screening weekend field trips and towards medication and operations as well as purchasing sunglasses in the UK. Both Charities agreed that the first step would be to report back to respective Boards of Trustees. The meeting was very positive and all left feeling optimistic about future partnership.
In addition to the two meetings above, trustees made contact with two football academies under the Promote Healthy Living agenda of aidgambia. Lamin Njie in his CAT role will be working alongside the Director of Avic Academy, Bass Bessame. The activities proposed are the provision of First Aid training and a match between the two academies to promote awareness of hypertension and diabetes prevalent among the young of The Gambia.
All in all a very productive visit. Special thanks to TK of Revive My Device, Ladywell, London for his work on the hardware we took out, Tom for his critique of our website and the many friends who have contributed glasses, computer hardware, paracetamol, mobile phones etc and as always St John the Baptist Church for underpinning the Bendon Bursary.