November 2016 Newsletter

Greetings from


There’s been a lot going on, so here’s the news:

First, GambiaHELP headquarters have moved.  We’re now in Edmonds which gives a better space for Shelby and her family as well as for volunteer workstations.  New address:                           GambiaHELP
10016 Edmonds Way, Suite C 124
Edmonds, WA 98020

We will be sending a container to The Gambia in late November.  We have a large amount of medical and school supplies, thanks to your many donations.  We would like to add more supplies for theBanjulinding Skill Center (see below) like yarn, material, and sewing supplies.  These supplies are eagerly awaited. Last time we had women crocheting and knitting before we had even unpacked all the supplies.  Please contact us right away if you have any of these items you would like to donate.

In Kerewan, the chicken coop is built and ready to go.  As soon as the rainy season subsides in November, villagers will purchase chickens and start managing the chicken farm. The garden was planted in February 2016 and is producing vegetables to support the school children. Thanks to all who helped with this project and to the Prosser Rotary who gave generously to the project.

The solar powered pump, much needed at the Mbaye Kunda village, is now fully funded thanks to your donations to GambiaHELP and from donors who once lived in this community and now live around the world.  We are waiting for a third bid on the project.  We obtain three bids whenever a job is complex and when two bids vary widely.  This is tough in The Gambia where written, detailed estimates are not the norm. However, we want to get the best equipment and the best result for your valuable donations.

Our latest project is back – The Banjulinding Skill Center!This project was started in late 2014, when we raised funds to renovate a dilapidated building into a much needed community skills center.  The center is used to promote sustainable projects like sewing, tie-dye making, crocheting, and knitting which support women and young girls who in turn support their community.  Your donations and the support of the University of Washington Rotary have made a big difference.  The Skill Center serves as a place for community meetings and events and has grown into a landmark resource in the area.  The women’s groups use it to sew school uniforms for children, clothing for holiday and religious ceremonies, plus many other projects (drapes for doorways, phone cases, furniture covers, hats and purses) so there is much to celebrate.

The issue now is to promote the sustainability of the projects. We plan to provide training to the women’s groups in the area so they better understand how sustainability works including making budgets, marketing their goods, and developing ways to put funds aside so that more materials can be purchased in the future.  This is difficult in a poor country where there are always many demands on limited funds.  However, we know we have good training available in three different languages that will help with this.  Materials on the site have been depleted and need to be resupplied.  After training, supply inputs will be reduced given the adaptive business model training.  Total cost for this project is $5,000.  Donate Now.

If you have any questions, please contact Director Shelby Tarutis at or visit our web site at

GambiaHELP is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c)(3) charitable/educational organization, so your contributions are tax-deductible. 95% of all donations go directly to projects in The Gambia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *