May 7, 2008, 6:49 AM
In an interview, the chairman of the foundation, Gerd Hoffmann, recalled some of their activities and the project work implemented by his organization for the past ten years, within the community of Jinack.
Chairman Hoffmann in his anniversary speech said it was once again time for an update about the activities and project implemented in Jinack and its environs within the North Bank Region of The Gambia.
He added that the update is especially directed towards the sponsors of the project and everyone who is concerned to promote the welfare of the people of Jinack.
“This year, it was 10 years ago that we started our foundation, and is a good moment to summarize the activities up to this moment.
“From the beginning in 2006, we had focused mainly on the activities in The Gambia, West Africa.
“The island of Jinack is situated in the delta of the Gambia River, and has approximately 2000 inhabitants, who until recently only had access to very limited healthcare and education facilities.
“2BaB Foundation was founded in 2006, with the primary goal to improve health care on the island. We have started many activities, but also received a lot of cooperation from governmental bodies, who we were able to convince to contribute to our project.
“By our constant presence, friendly requests and, when necessary, polite insistence, we have been able to gather the additional support to make our projects successful,” the foundation chairman stated.
According to him, a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser bush ambulance was delivered to the island of Jinack to help patients in need of medical care, and did no longer have to be carried by foot along a twenty-kilometer long sand road anymore.
“The second project of the foundation was the construction of a hospital with 10 beds on this island in The Gambia. The hospital opened its doors in July 2009 and its operation has been successful.
“2BaB Foundation is taking care of the maintenance of the clinic.”
Gerd Hoffmann added that a medical student, Bubacarr Touray, who will become doctor on the island has now started his final year at the University of The Gambia, and will soon graduate. Through contractual agreement between him and the government, he will be stationed on the island for a minimum period of five years.
“Around the same time, we started a project in collaboration with the Ministry for Education (MoBSE), to improve the then very limited education resources on Jinack. At the present, 17 teachers have been employed and several of them, including the school principal, are housed in an apartment building that we finished building in 2012.
“We started yet another project in 2010: The Bakindiki Koto Farm Project. The progress of this project was difficult and slow. A severe drought caused us to put the project on hold in October 2014. We did start a project on seed onions; however, there was a revolving fund for the women’s association Kutejumbulu.
“We approached the permanent secretary of Agriculture who promised to help the farm project. This resulted in four hectares of sesame seed that were planted for the season 2015-2016.
“In cooperation with MoBSE, construction and renovation of the school buildings started again in 2014. Improvements in education had already been achieved.
“The government funded a new school building with three classrooms. We did our part of the deal by constructing a new school building with five classrooms. Both parties together built a toilet block with six cubicles. Now we have also fixed a new roof on an existing building, and placed a fence. The school can now dispose of a third building. Plans for renovation of a fourth building in 2016 have already been made.
“By now the school has expanded its scope of education from Basic to Secondary Basic and subsequently Upper and Senior Secondary School! This means that pupils can now follow twelve consecutive years of education. Compared to the situation in in 2006, this is a huge improvement.
“The school project of 2BaB Foundation consists of three phases, and is carried out in cooperation with the Wild Geese Foundation. ASN Foundation will contribute to phase three of the project as well.
“Recently, a Mercedes 230 4x4 was donated to the project by a relation, which has now arrived in The Gambia - a very welcome gift to support our local activities.
“We have come a long way, indeed!”