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 advantage of vulnerable girls: It is not only basic shelter; we also give them 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. 50 girls 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.

** How to donate for the girls’ shelter

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Meet some of our girls:


** Read our Nanny’s report on why the girls come to our shelter

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The very nature of Gambian Darra

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

Soon our girls will be grown up.

They will become professionals and have own families – they are our hope for a stable, democratic Gambia that keeps up with the world’s progress.

Those our girls soon will be leaders to companies, authorities and families. They will spread the Foundation’s idea of a culture of respect beyond tribe, religion, and sex; a culture of humanity and tolerance.

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