Hart House is a Gambian Home for Children with Learning Difficluties. We are a charitable and voluntary body who provide residential short-term respite care. Initiated in 2001 with a committee of experienced local Gambians, presently consisting of retired head teachers, parents, senior nurse, deputy mayor and a staff representative. We are an officially registered charity in Gambia. Hart House is a "purpose built" 2 storey building (25 by 14 metres) which was completed around the summer of 2002. Financed by an English director Mr. Geoff Hunwicks, Geoff Hunwicks, The Director who sold his family home to move to The Gambia; live and set up the project (which has been partly financed by him for sustainability and development).
The project is always seeking assistance of any kind (especially during the 'closed' tourist season). The home is the first and only one of its kind in The Gambia, situated 20 km from the capital of Banjul and in a village that has still to get electricity, water and telephone lines. The only other similar facility is a Methodist run Special Needs Unit catering for children and adults, Monday-Friday for day care with most users being transported in.
Geoff, the director, has 30 years experience in this area with all ages and types of learning difficulties especially the severe/profound as well as practicing holistic massage therapy. He worked as a volunteer in Bethlehem for 2 years in a similar home having to return to look after his 'ailing' father.
The ground floor is reserved for children - at least 16 could reside - with 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, Children in the lounge large sitting room, 3 classrooms, an office, activity room, equipment room, resources room, bathroom, shower and 2 toilets.
The first floor contains the Geoff's living area, guest/volunteer sitting room, 4 guest/volunteer bedrooms, showers, a bath and toilets. There is also a conference room and massage room (idea is to develop it to include a keep fit and medical area). Most of these areas have developed since 2002 as facilities (e.g. cupboards for storage etc. have improved). Chairs, tables etc. have come mostly through donations in cash and kind.
The executive committee is presently composed of 9 people who are Geoff, the director, secretary, treasurer, social organisers, parent members, health worker and a staff representative. Committee meeting are held monthly in the home.
Many hours and kilometres have been spent over the past few years to improve the funding situation for the home and though much has been promised by many people and businesses there is minimal delivery.
Funding mostly comes from tourist related activities during the months of November to April. Such funding is generated in the form of:
Table Selling - raffles at bars and restaurants
- coach visits
- table selling local craft items
- donations from tourists due to leafleting hotels etc.
- hotel quiz nights
Every child deserves a chance in life. All donations are greatly appreciated. Below are 6 possible ways you can help a needy child:
Method 1: Sponsoring a Gambian Child
You can sponsor a child for £125 per year (or any amount) or you may wish to get your local club, pub or sports team to do a group sponsorship for the one child. Payment by installments is also welcome.
Three times a year each sponsor will receive a picture of your sponsored child, progress reports, greetings and thank you cards. Much of the money goes towards the child's upkeep, medical bills and education.
Method 2: Cheques
You may just want to send an occasional gift in the form of a cheque.
Please make cheques out to:
THE GAMBIAN HOME FOR CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES
PO BOX 2713
Method 3: Money Transfer
You can also send money by using a money transfer company like Western Union or Moneygram.
When sending money the transfer company will give you a Reference Number and in most cases ask you to provide a secret Question and Answer
Please remember to telephone us with the REFERENCE NUMBER and the SECRET QUESTION and ANSWER
Make payments payable to:
Sinchu Alhagie Village
Tel: 00 220 9926258
Method 4: Donations of Materials
Any type of donation (learning materials, toys, toiletries, clothes, furniture, equipment, videos, etc.)
Method 5: Fundraising
Why not? If you decide to do that, you are also participating in the improvement of the Gambian Home for Children with Learning Difficulties. We are always in urgent need of funds to cover our expenses at the home.
Method 6: Volunteering
We will appreciate having people who would like to spend some of their time in our home in order to help the children of Hart House.