Newsletter September / October 2013 - Gambia Trip

Once more a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been helping Healing Hearts in the last 18 years! 
This is a description of a trip to The Gambia in September/October 2013:



Junna: is one of the new settlements with very few wells. Most have to walk long distances to get water. The inhabitants were extremely grateful when we built a well for them.

opening of new well opening of new well

Daru Bjusambala:
Another new settlement has built a new mosque without any source of water. We decide to build the next well here. It took some time to convince them that building it right under the tree, which they wanted, was not an option, the roots would make it impossible to dig the well. Even cutting down the tree, which would be a great pity, would not change that. A new position on the other side of the mosque was found.

the new mosque in Daru Bjusambalathe new mosque in Daru Bjusambala

the new wellthe new well...            


The 4th well in New Yundum, 
next to the mosque, was not completely finished. It had no protective ring around it and no outlet for animals to drink. During the rainy season, when it was too wet to build for a few weeks, some cement bags had mysteriously disappeared... A few months later, with a new system in place of how to store the materials safely in future, the job was perfectly done!


finally completed....finally completed...




Ebrima Joof's House: 
During the strongest rainy season in half a century, the house had completely collapsed. We had insisted to have the house built with mud blocks, an art which is more and more disappearing: everyone wants to modern and build with cement. Our builder was not aware of nowadays having to go down at least 5 meters to get strong enough mud to make bricks from. The soil of The Gambia is turning into a sandy desert as the Sahara is expanding south. It also has large patches of land which have been over cultivated by constant groundnut plantation, leaving behind sandy earth. We are now rebuilding the house using compressed earthblocks, a method compressing earth and mud with lime, which has recently been introduced to The Gambia from India.

collapsed house


GNPC(Gambian National Paralympic Committee):
Healing Hearts is supporting the GNPC (Gambian National Paralympic Committee) to set up a workshop where their people are trained in the skill of designing, repairing and assembling wheelchairs, bicycles, welding and fabrication. This will stop them from begging in the streets, as disabled people in The Gambia receive no support from the government. We met in front of the building which is now being rented, and did a Zikr to bring blessings to this project.

opening Zikr opening Zikr

Isatou Nyang, the first Gambian lady to participate in the Paralympic Games in London 2012! Isatou Nyang, the first Gambian lady to participate in the Paralympic Games in London 2012!


Naqshbandi-Tijani Schools:


Farato: The newly built school in Farato had also been severely damaged by the extreme storms and a wall had collapsed. We arrange for repairs of the wall and for a plinth be built all around the whole building for support. The decision is made to see if the quality is then strong enough to hold. The mud that was used, seems to be of better quality than in Babilon. We do not want to unnecessarily pull down a new building, but have to be absolutely sure that it is safe enough for the children. Thank God the rainy season, where it will have to stand the test, is in the summer holidays, so no children in the building at that time.

examining the damage caused by rainexamining the damage caused by rain

The teachers in Tanji School get their salaries, school books, chalk and stationery, as does the school in Farato. They have also had damage through the strong rainy season and need to have the roof and a wall repaired. The school allotment is in full bloom.

allotment in bloom!allotment in bloom!

The Naqshbandi Group continues to meet on a monthly basis under the cool trees of the house that Bubacarr guards.


Tanji Mosque: 
A bit further into Tanji, a community of 500 people have had to pray in a small place only just big enough for 40. We had the request to build a mosque in the name of a grandfather who passed away in England. We give Alpha, our newly found earth block specialist, who has already built an impressive mosque, the job to build one here.

To be very sure that this mosque will not be taken over by Wahabis, who are of course trying to get influence in Africa too, we agree on a contract with the Imam and Elders of the village:

“Healing Hearts builds a Mosque for the community of Tanji in memory of Qasim's Grandfather. It will be under the guardianship and run by the Elders and the Imam as long as they are honouring and respecting Sayyidina Muhammad s.w.s. and his Representatives, His Friends: the Auwlia, and as long as all Friends of Allah, all legitimate Tariqats, are welcome.”

building of new mosque in Tanji

signing the agreement with the Imam and the Elders



Africa's material suffering continues to touch our hearts and we try to do what we can...

Wa salaama, al Hamdulillah and thank you so much!

May Allah bless you, protect you and guide you 
more and more and more,