Newsletter April 2012   

As salaamualaykum.

Once more a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been helping Healing Hearts in the last 16 years! 
This is a short description from a trip in April 2012 to The Gambia, of how our projects are developing there:

Yurunku ~ distribution of mosquito nets.
Picking up the nets from the customs:

  Trust in Allah, we will get through this paperwork...          
Yes! After 3 hours, very hot too, all is well!.
A prayer of thanks...
BJ and Al Hagie:
off they go on the long trip to Yurunku by ferry, car and donkey.

The project was completed of giving everyone in the village a mosquito net: the Naqshbandi Task Force distributed another 300 family nets. 
The ever-growing deadly spread of malaria is mostly a result of the terrible increase in use of plastic, which cannot be burnt, blocks the drains and causes stagnant water which then attracts mosquitos. We are very grateful that we are able to purchase perma nets, which are long lasting insecticidal treated mosquito nets.

The nets first had to be released from the customs. Anyone who has ever worked in Africa will understand what a test this is. Bureaucracy is not easy anywhere, but in Africa it has reached almost overwhelming proportions. At the same time it is a wonderful experience how much trust in Allah actually is practised here, and works!


New Yundum:

The new well with a pump for drinking water in the village of New Yundum was completed. A new school and mosque is planned for the area, which will both benefit from the well. Until then many families already living there will be using the well, as it is public. 

New Yundum is a new settlement and most parts do not have any connection to water, so we decide to build one more well here.

Flowing, clean drinking water: bliss!
The elders discuss where to build the new well 


Kembo Yeh:

The well in Kembo Yeh had been broken by children from the orphanage fetching water and then using the pump to swing on. A mayor repair had to be done. In the presence of Sheikh Qadiri a new rule was set up: the well would be locked and then opened at certain times, now only to be used by adults. Normally children can handle fetching water, they feel responsible and useful and try to do a good job. But in the case of Kembo Yeh, there are hundreds of children in the orphanage and it clearly got out of hand and turned into a playground. 

We also made a new arrangement with the pump supplier: that he would train someone in the community where the new wells are built, to be able to make minor repairs and also leave a bag with mayor spare parts. Broken down projects are scattered all around Africa, because hardly anyone has been trained to maintain them.

The Broken down pump

Newly repaired pump and new rules...


Babylon Well:

A new settlement is in progress in Babylon, where a member of the GNPC (Gambian National Paralympic Committee) has been given a piece of land. We agree to build a well there and help him with the construction of a house. This well can then also be used by the mosque next door. Rents are terribly high and especially for the disabled more and more difficult to pay. They are not allowed to beg in front of hotels anymore, where they often made friends with tourists who would then sometimes support them longterm. 

The case of Ebrima is especially sensitive, as both he and his wife had polio and are now wheelchair bound. They have 4 children who all go to schools, which have to be paid for. We were thrilled when we heard that his wife had been given a piece of land and decided to first build the well, as presence of water would make it much easier to make the mud bricks to build the house. 

Osman, someone who has been serving the charity for a long time and also lives in Babylon, faced a massive test: his roof had collapsed, and with the rainy season just round the corner, his house was threatened with total collapse. We decided to help him to build a new roof.   

Planning where exactly to put the well...



2 years ago we made an appeal for BJ and Al Hagie of the Naqshbandi Task Force to go to Lefke to visit Maulana. Many hurdles of bureaucracy were overcome and just as they were ready to go the war in Libya started. This caused great unrest in North and West Africa and they both did not feel it safe to leave their families and travel. Now that the war has spread to Mali, the situation is the same: they do not dare to travel anymore. 


At the same time everyday life in The Gambia is getting tougher and tougher as tourism is in decline and less and less people are able to pay their rents. BJ showed us a project he has been working on for 10 years in Maryama: building a house for his family: his ill mother, his wife and his 3 children to live in. After getting agreement from their sponsors, we decided to use the money collected for his fare to help him finish the house, with the intention of maybe finding some other pieces of land there and start a Naqshbandi community. 

BJ and Sheikh Sarge in front of BJ's house


Tanji Tijani-Naqshbandi School:

10 years ago Healing Hearts built the school in Tanji. It has 3 classes with 40 pupils in each. We pay the teachers' salaries and books, tables and benches and uniforms for the children. This time we had had new uniforms benches and tables made.

new tables and chairs 

admiring the pupils' vegetable/fruit garden


4400kg of rice were distributed to: the 37 members of the GNPC (Gambian National Paralympic Committee), the orphans in Kembo Yeh, the students in Tanji and the Naqshbandi Zikr Group. 

Farato Tijani Naqshbandi School:

A new pipeline has been built from the well in Farato leading right to the wudu place in front of the school. A pump was installed, as were several taps at the wudu place and now the rule of trying always to have wudu, much easier to keep for the children.

The new water tank and pipeline at the Farato Well

Ladies' Zikr:

It is an absolute blessing to be able to meet up with the ladies in The Gambia and do Ladies Zikr. 

Ladies' Zikr on the beach...
Ya, Maulana!


Perfume Purchase:

For the Charity Shop in Glastonbury it is just as good to have exotic items from Africa, as it is for our friends in the Kotu Craft Market to be able to sell something to us. This time we decided to bring back some Oud Perfume.


Signed and sealed: deal done!


Ever greater extremes: the gap between the rich and the poor just continues to get wider...  
The desire to want to help also grows more and more and more...

Some of our big projects like building wells or schools, are one offs, but a lot of what we do involve regular salaries. It is a relief to be able to create jobs and not just hand out charity. This is very much an appeal to those of you who are able to commit on a regular basis:

Bank: NatWest Temple Fortune Branch, London 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

You can also send a cheque for 'Healing Hearts' to: 16 High Street, Butleigh BA6 8SU, UK

or donate through Paypal:  to this email address

For those of you who are taxpayers in the UK, 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 Shukrulillah.
May Allah bless you, protect you and guide you more and more, inshaAllah...