Childhood in The Gambia

… in our days, is something that every family in the country is trying to improve: more education, more medical support, less time consuming household courses. The resources needed for such a big aim are not equally divided between all of them. Therefore, Sheikh Tihami Ibrahim Nyass Foundation provides with it’s compound a caring home for those girls who’s disadvantaged families cannot afford as good a childhood as they deserve.

Darra – That’s how we call children’s shelter

Traditionally, a Darra is a commonly financed save house of a mosque community in Gambia providing boys with food and basic (religious) education. It serves as either permanent or temporary shelter for them who lost one or both parents, or whose family cannot afford their living costs due to rough economic circumstances.

Our Darra – a modernized version

We modernized the idea to the requirements of the 21.st century: Our Darra is not only basic shelter; we also give love and care, medical and social support, general and religious education on equal terms.

Our Darra understands itself as a family, with Fatou Gaye as mother of ca. 55 girls and ca. 12 boys of all ages. We asked neither religion nor tribe upon intake. The youngest girl is just a baby, the eldest are attending secondary schools, dreaming of vocational training or university studies to come.

The very nature of Gambian Darra

is determined by a certain fluctuation due to the concept of extended family structures: Children arrive after their mom died, and often luckily leave with a stepmom or an aunty. Other children stay with us for a fix period of time while their parents try hard to make a living elsewhere. Some children live with us because their family lost all means to feed and house them but will return after recovering, even if it takes years.

** Read here the report of a nanny on how the Darra is like

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Financing of the Darra

Expenditures of the Darra are covered both by clinic’s profits and by (kind) donations. We pool all donations in the DARRA DONATION POOL.

What we need money for: food, schoolfees, pocket money to buy a meal during school hours, transport fees for all children who’s schools are too far away for walks or biking, hygienics and cosmetics, nannies salaries, infrastructure, medical treatments.

**Donate now

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Meet some of our girls:

Facebook-video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=540384096655988

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How our children live

From 2012, when the Darra was established, until July 2020, we took in only girls in our Darra, as girls from disadvantaged families are the most vulnerable social group. With limited finacial means, we built dormitories for them, where each of them had an own bed, covered with moscito nets.

In 2020, we planned the construction of a new house. And indeed, we did it, although the Covid-19-pandemic hit our nation and our Foundation very hard.

** Read here, how we built a new house amidst the pandemic.

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…and since July 2020, we also take in boys.

**Read more here

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