Newsletter April 2010  

As salaamualaykum.

First of all: a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been helping Healing Hearts in the last 12 years, al Hamdulillah! This is a short newsletter of the trip to The Gambia in April 2010:

Farato school

The 120 pupils have in the last half year been working hard on their vegetable plot with the Naqshbandi Task Force. We are now building a proper well with a pump next to their plot and are installing a watertank at the ablution place. The Task Force also do Naqshbandi Zikr regularly with the pupils in the newly completed Mosque next to the school. The 4 teachers get their monthly salary. We are busy sewing 2 uniforms for each pupil and want to start replacing the tables and benches.

Farato School Vegetable/Fruit Garden
Farato School Construction of new Well
Farato pupils making Zikr


Tanji school

Tanji school also has 120 pupils and was also built by us 7 years ago. The problem with the school is that the grounds are very small, but so many children in that area need education. Like Farato school they like the combination of Holy Quran School and western teaching that we are offering, so many more children are urging to join. The grounds that are available now are almost too small for the 3 classes we have, so, inshaAllah, if Allah opens the door, we might one day be able to buy some more adjoining land and expand. These pupils also have a vegetable plot and also learn English and do regular Naqshbandi zikr. The 4 teachers also get their salaries from us and the pupils their uniforms and books. Here too, after 7 years, it is necessary to start replacing the tables and benches. 

Tanji Classroom
Tanji Pupils



The village Yurunku lies 2 hours of very bumpy ride into the desert off the Northbank of the River Gambia. The village has around 2000 inhabitants and only one well on the outskirts of the village. The main source of water: a borehole with pipes leading to 5 water taps into the village, has broken down completely. It had been built a few years ago by Italians, powered by a windmill, which from the start didn't work very well because it was situated next to some big trees and there isn't much wind in that area anyway. Since a year the whole construction has collapsed, so the village is almost without water. When we were there they turned on the water, which, because it doesn't have any pressure, can only last for around half a minute. It was heartbreaking to see the children like bees on honey, trying to get a drop of water out of the tap. We have asked a specialist to see how a new system could get the water running again. Probably a combination of solar panels with a pump and water tank.

Yurunku has the Maqqam of the famous Saint El Hadj Ibrima Khalidou Ndiaye where thousands of pilgrims come every year to pay their respects. We are helping them to rebuild the Maqqam with mud blocks.

We also distributed 24 mosquito nets.

Yurunku distribution of mosquito nets    
 Yurunku children desperately trying to drink


Naqshbandi Group/ Task Force

The Naqshbandi Group is now well established and meet regularly for Zikr. This time we finally also did a Ladies' Zikr, al Hamdulillah! The challenge at the moment is that as The Gambia relies almost completely on tourism, which is in decline, so people are becoming poorer ad poorer. The season has now been cut to 6 months, the other 6 months most people are unemployed. So we distributed 2550 kg of rice money, to make sure that our people will not be starving in the months to come. We also distributed 14 mosquito nets, bought a sewing machine, 4 mats for the zikr and turbans. The Task Force consists of Sheikh Ebrima Sarge, Al Hagie and BJ. They go around the schools and check that everything is all right there, help with the vegetable plots and do Zikr with the pupils. 

Naqshbandi Zikr group


Kotu Craft Market Mosque
Healing Hearts started the development and the building of the Kotu Craft Market Mosque 11 years ago. This time we planted 4 coconut trees and repaired the Ebou Memorial Zikr Bench and distributed 12 mosquito nets. 

Wheelchairs/ Disabled
We set up a new wheelchair distribution system of which Ebrima is in charge. We sent 6 wheelchairs to begin with, distributed 1250 kg rice money and gave housing support.

GNPC (Gambian National Paralympic Committee)
For the time being we continue to pay for the office costs.

Sheikh Nazim Mosque
We pay for the water in the mosque, bought 3 new praying mats and had the mosque painted.

Old Yundum Well

We went to check on the running of the well which we built last year

 Old Yundum Well


This is a short description of the projects we are involved with at the moment in The Gambia. The other ones can all be seen on our website. We came back this time noticing more than ever how much the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and how much more we would like to do. Some of the big projects, like building wells or schools, are one offs, but so many of the projects involve regular salaries. It is such a relief to be able to create jobs and not just hand out charity. So this is very much an appeal to those of you who are able to commit on a regular basis:

Bank: NatWest Temple Fortune Branch, NW11 0BQ, accountholder: Healing Hearts, account no: 09659293, Branch Sort Code: 51-50-11,              BIC: NWBK GB 2L, IBAN: GB25 NWBK 5150 1109 6592 93

For those of you who are taxpayers, please download the GiftAid Form on our website and send it to us, then we can claim 28% on top of what you donate from the government.

If you are able to make a standing order it would be wonderful! Allah knows best...

Wa salaama and thank you so much, al Hamdulillah,