GambiaHELP Executive Director Speaks Out

By Dawda Faye – Reprinted from
The Point – a Gambian Newspaper April, 2012

The executive director  of Gambia Health Education Liaison Project (GambiaHELP), MPH Shelby C. Tarutis, recently granted an interview to The Point on  the intervention of her project in the country.


According to her, they have been working in The Gambia for 13 years in education and health.  

She said they are based in Seattle, Washington, and are composed mainly of volunteers. The project is a
humanitarian charity for women and children, especially for those living in the rural area.

They also focus primarily on needy children and orphans, Ms. Tarutis said,  noting that this year they have paid school fees for 55 orphans  to the tune of D70,000 at the primary, middle and senior secondary school level


“The past 13 years we provided 16 containers with medical and education materials to all regions in The Gambia,” she pointed out.

According to her, in the 1980s she was posted as a peace corps volunteer in Dankunku as health educator and nutritionist.

They have so far built a skills centre, schools, and libraries and have been supporting women projects in the country, she said.

They have also provided  support to such places and institutions as Kudang, Jappieh, Sambang, Dankunku, Sitahurma, Sofanyama, Banjulinding, Bonto, Nyaye Sanjul, SOS Children Village and SBEC International.

Shelby C. Tarutis was born in Seattle, Washington, USA and attended Evergreen State College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry.  She later obtained a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Washington specializing in Health Services.


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