The Gambia: Support for vulnerable children & youth

Support for vulnerable children & youth

Young people from poor families in Gambia’s rural areas can feel a strong pull to leave home for a better life in the city. The phenomenon is so common that this demographic is termed ‘children on the move’. Considerable dangers face these vulnerable teens as they make that journey, though.

“Because of socio-economic problems, violence at home and parental separation, moving out becomes the best option for them to fulfil their dreams and life expectations,” explain our partners in the Gambia. “But it is obvious that they face a lot of exploitation on their way.” Trafficking or falling into crime are just some of the common risks. Our partners have projects in education and development that target youth-at-risk like these.

Part of their work involves rescuing or retrieving children who have become tangled in difficult circumstances after leaving home, and reuniting them with family. They then support, counsel and provide educational opportunities or job training for older youth.

Crossroads has shipped twice in the past to these partners, to help develop their programs, and now we are shipping again with goods including furniture, school items, bedding, clothing and more.


Children rescued from risky and dangerous situations are returned to their families.


Equipping for education

“60 children formerly sat on a mat inside a class room made of palm tree branches,” said Crossroads partners, after receiving our last shipment, “but the shipment provided them the opportunity to have a table and a chair and not only that provided them the opportunity to have reading books and materials.” The improvements allowed them to enroll more children, which in turn qualified them to receive more teachers from the district. This shipment will include more educational goods to support village schools caring for vulnerable children.

“60 children formerly sat on a mat inside a class room made of palm tree branches,” said Crossroads partners, after receiving our last shipment, “but the shipment provided them the opportunity to have a table and a chair and not only that provided them the opportunity to have reading books and materials.” The improvements allowed them to enroll more children, which in turn qualified them to receive more teachers from the district. This shipment will include more educational goods to support village schools caring for vulnerable children.


Fabric from Crossroads’ previous shipment helped relieve the burden on village families, who used it to make clothing.


 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Country Snapshot: The Gambia

Capital: Banjul

Official language: English

Population: 2.2 million (2018)

The Gambia is a small country in West Africa. Stretching 450 km along the Gambia River, the country is surrounded by Senegal, except for a 60-km Atlantic Ocean front.

In 2019 The Gambia’s economy saw strong growth ensuring a reduction in debt and stable inflation. However, poverty is still high, especially in rural areas. The national poverty rate is 48%.

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