West Africa Live! – Thanks to our Supporters

Thanks to all our supporters who attended West Africa Live!


Young boy dancing in The Gambia

It was a pleasure so see so many familiar faces and to meet new people as well.  I was especially impressed with all the young people who attended both as volunteers and as participants.  I’m grateful to both Ann Fasano and Lisa Stuebing for bringing these young people into our family.

We sold a lot of backpacks at $75 each and so there will be a lot of happy students in The Gambia next year! 

As one of our supporters wrote:

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do something good and worthwhile.  Great people, great food and some great performers. It seemed like everyone had a permanent smile on their face.  Give yourself a pat on the back  for doing such a fine job of putting it all together.  I look forward to doing my little part again next year.

Through your generosity we were able to make enough money for the Chicken Farm for the village of Kerewan.  This is a Gambian village where the children have trouble learning because of poor nutrition.  Along with the Garden which we funded last year, this will be a significant aid to the children of Kerewan.  

We still want to rebuild the school there.  There always seem to be more worthwhile projects than we can fund.  If you were unable to attend West Africa Live! and would like to make a tax deductible donation, please do so.

DONATE NOW!  Thanks again to all our supporters. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!

Shelby Tarutis  206 660-5826


Thione Diop

Thione Diop — Photo by Raman Chandrasekar

Performances included:

  • Dancing, singing and drumming by Gansango Music & Dance Company
  • JeConte & the Mali Allstars
  • Thione Diop and his band Yeke Yeke
  • The enchanting music of the 21-string Mandinka harp played by  kora masters Kane Mathis & Sean Gaskell
  • Hands-on activities for children
  • Traditional West African dishes from Bantaba African Restaurant
  • Wine, beer, and nonalcoholic ginger, hibiscus drinks and dessert available for purchase.

The Mali Allstars’ “soulful tunes merge West African rhythms, reggae, strains and Afropop grooves with seductive New Orleans blues and earthy California rock.”


Proceeds will benefit a village nursery school in The Gambia where children have difficulty learning because of poor nutrition. Last year we started a garden, now we need to rebuild the nursery school and start a poultry farm that will add much needed protein to the children’s diets.

GambiaHELP is a Seattle-based nonprofit that seeds health, education and small-business projects in The Gambia.  We are looking for more volunteers and sponsors – call Shelby Tarutis at 206-253-6924.

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