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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause such as wildlife conservation or tsunami reconstruction efforts? Tell us how you did it, what the experience was like, and how others can help. Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details here.
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Old 27 Dec 2009
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Location: The Gambia, West Africa
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In The Gambia: We Need Your Help!

A Non-Sectarian Charitable Organization Registered in The Gambia
David Levine, D.O., CEO Ebrima Marong, Administrator
Bakary Jammeh, Assistant CEO Tel: 220-7447549
Kololi, The Gambia email:davidzl_2000@yahoo.com

Hi! I’m David Levine, a medical doctor living in The Gambia, West Africa. I’m also an ardent motorcycle rider. Early in 2006 I came here as a volunteer and worked as principal physician in the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) of Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) in the capitol, Banjul. Working in A&E for a year I experienced the heartbreaking realities of living (and dying) in a developing country. In response to what I learned my brother and I founded West Africa Medicine and Education (WAME).

West Africa Medicine and Education is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) formally incorporated in The Gambia (Certificate No. 510/2009). We started it three years ago with the rather loose aim of helping out in whatever way we could in the medical and educational fields. We arranged for new lighting for A&E; a new, heavy-duty air conditioner. Extractor fans. An X-ray view box. We've arranged for shipments of medical supplies and equipment to help RVTH and the two rural clinics at Ilyassa and Sintet Village. We helped arrange life-saving cardiac surgery in London for a young Sierra Leonean refugee boy. We've provided funds for poor families for medical care and medications.

On the educational front we sponsor 16 children for their school fees, uniforms, books, etc. Right now there is a possibility that we may be able to get shipments of school desks and furniture from the UK.

We continue to seek funding sources from the US and UK but are committed to developing a funding base here in West Africa; ultimately that is the healthiest and most sustainable way. Africans helping Africans to succeed.

I am committed to keep administrative costs to a minimum. When someone contributes it is meant for the people, not for a bloated administration. I take no salary. The only persons paid are Ebrima and Sam, our secretary-treasurer, who are just as poor as the people we are helping. And they are paid only when we have donations. (Believe me, they earn their keep....and more!) Our office is a desk, a file cabinet, computer/scanner/printer in a spare bedroom. People ask why we don't have a "nice" office. I tell them I'd rather spend the money for projects! We’ll continue this way until we outgrow the spare bedroom.

Our partner organization is The Gathering Project in Tacoma, WA. For ten years they have been assembling medical supplies and equipment and sending them to Third World countries. They are a registered 501c3 nonprofit. Good people.

The Gathering Project has mountains of supplies that can be shipped. What is needed are the funds to transport the materials. Shipping a 40-foot container from Tacoma to Banjul costs $7000.

At present, we have requests from four rural clinics:

--The one at Sintet Village is entirely operated by the villagers. They are wonderful people and are very proud of their clinic. It is staffed by two government nurses. All other maintenance and staffing is from volunteer villagers. They need a solar system to provide electricity and power a pump for water. They need an autoclave and refrigeration, and a generator and petrol for the generator, and an ambulance, and, and….

--The government clinic at Ilyassa needs running water and electricity. They have a good borehole and pump but the plumbing in the clinic buildings needs to be completely overhauled. They also need a solar electrical system.

--The clinic at Jappineh needs screening on the windows to keep mosquitoes and flies out. As you can imagine, this is a real problem during malaria season!

--The new government clinic at Nookunda needs everything! Right now it is a nicely-constructed empty shell.

A recent generous bequest from the Sand Foundation in the US puts us well on the road to some of our immediate goals but more is needed.
There is no lack of projects to undertake. We need support both in cash and in kind. We promise your contribution will make a difference. If you know of any sources of medical or educational supplies or equipment or even construction, electrical or plumbing supplies, please contact us and let us know.

Email me, David Levine, D.O., at davidzl_2000@yahoo.com

Many thanks to HU for providing this forum.
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Old 3 Feb 2010
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Warwick
Posts: 33

Hi David
If you set up a JustGiving.com sponsorship page, then you could get donations from individuals like myself for your charitable organization, I could only give a small amount but i guess it would go a long way.
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Old 3 Feb 2010
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: inverness scotland
Posts: 137
Just Giving


Just got back from kololi on Saturday - shame I had not seen your post as would have liked to have made a visit - it is clear that there are a lot of needs in all areas of life in Gambia - I left my clothes with people prior to leaving and would also like to contribute in a small way if possible. Jaydub is right if you can set up a just giving account it is a good way to attract sponsorship and an effective way for people to make donations -

Chizz (Bruce)
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Old 21 Aug 2010
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 34

I have visited David in The Gambia, and not just for a couple of days. I stayed at his house and lived with him and his family in Kololi for more than 3 weeks. I can confirm what a great effort and work David is putting into this. He has devoted his life to help the ones who are suffering. But without people giving help it is a hard and a long way to succed. The Gambia needs your help, not only in the big city of Banjul but also on its countryside.

I am now in South America, and I think it is time that I look into some volounteer work, to repay what others have done for me. I will like to pay it forward...

Thanks David for your kindness and having the oppertunity to get to know you.


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