Faces of Gambia
The Gambia is Africa’s smallest non-island country. It is also one of Africa’s most densely populated countries. A few towns are located upriver, but most Gambians live in rural villages.
The Gambia has long been home to several different ethnic groups who have maintained their individual cultural traditions; as such, the country has a rich heritage. In the past, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, leatherworkers, weavers, textile dyers, and other artisans were found in all of the region’s societies.
Geographically engulfed within the western African country of Senegal lies The Gambia, a predominantly rural country with a population of roughly two million people. The country is largely dependent on agriculture, an industry that employs 75 percent of the population and accounts for a third of its GDP. Unfortunately food insecurity is prevalent and the region is becoming increasingly susceptible to harmful climate events: two inescapable factors that have become causes of poverty in the Gambia
Other, less fundamental causes of poverty in the Gambia include a 45 percent illiteracy rate, a 1.7 percent adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS and an extremely high risk of contracting infectious diseases. Gambians have extremely poor access to proper healthcare; there were 1.1 hospital beds for every 1,000 Gambians in 2011
Aseda Gambia is a non-governmental organisation engaged in child welfare, sewing workshop, food aid distribution, school building, healthcare, rural business enterprises, water well supplies and filtration, self-sustaining self-employment, artisanal fisheries development.
Javier Blanco, leader of ASEDA said they were happy to be part of the development programme of The Gambia through education. He recounted how he fell in love with the country when he was a tour operator..
"We found out that The Gambia was a true Smiling Coast," he said, adding that when they visited the school they saw the leaking roof and the cooks could not give decent food to the children. This, he added prompted them to help.
He said their main aim is to encourage vocational training as it will help young Gambians to acquire professional skills for development.
"A well educated citizenship is the major economic resource for any nation. No natural resource can compare to training and education," he concluded.