People Help The People
People Help the People Project is a joint venture between the Charity and Shmoo’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, a company that is owned by one of our Trustees, David Al-Marsoomi. Shmoo's kitchen will donate profit to the building of this project, whilst David will personally work with the rest of the team to create and eventually deliver services within a sustainable eco village which will include living accommodation and educational services to children orphaned in Gambia. The Project will be developed with permaculture principles to ensure there is an ethical sustainable solutions to poverty in the areas where we work, that will be lasting and support future generations.
Shmoo's Wood-fired kitchen is already well-established and travels around the UK at various events and festivals and has promoted awareness of the Giving It Back Community, so there has already been a huge amount of support for this project. The kitchen has already donated profits to the purchasing of a piece of land in Gambia and the building of a well, whilst Matthew Hensman has donated personal funds from the sale of his business. With the land now prepared and the designs in place, we are now in the fundraising stage to reach our target of £25,000 pounds to commence the build of this Project.
Once the physical infastructure is in place we can then begin to move onto phase 2 of this project, which will involve designing a curriculum to be rolled into the education building in the village, whilst also building workshops and training centres for locals to develop new skills and trades, thus providing a longer term economical plan for growth and sustainability in the community we build. There are a number of conditions in The Gambia that make it difficult to brake the poverty cycle. A lack of food and ability to farm land for crops due to poor water access, low quality soil and pests are just some of the problems that make farming difficult. In addition a lack of stable and legitimate income streams for local people to feed their families along with little opportunities for people to find their way out of poverty means that disease and child cruelty or abandonment are key issues in the area where the village is being built.
The eco-village will comprise of classrooms, living accommodation for children, staff and volunteers as well as a communal area, canteen and classrooms. Only a small fraction of Gambia is supplied with electricity and running water in the area we have purchased the land. We will therefore build on our economic principles and develop solar powered alternatives. We initially expect to house around 40 people in total 30 of which we expect to be homeless or abandoned children.
Education and rehabilitation in every sense of the word is paramount in the services we will deliver. The children we are planning on housing have experienced multiple traumas and significant abandonment issues, often they have been left to fend for themselves and have various health related conditions. They will need careful attention to ensure they are weaned onto a healthy diet, before we can begin supporting them to overcome the many social and emotional issues they face. Our aim will be to first ensure their medical and health needs are met, before providing a safe loving nurturing home that will be staffed by local people. We intend to develop a 24 hour curriculum that teaches social and emotional development, with interventions for children affected by trauma, poverty and long term diseases such as HIV. We will also provide an academic curriculum so the children have the skills and ability to ensure a way out of poverty. We will instil confidence, strength, determination and hope back into a community that has many issues.
Our longer term intention is to use permaculture principles and ethics, Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share to create land-sharing schemes within the community. We will farm and maintain unused land, which will provide a source of income and security for the land owner and their family with a small contributions supporting the running of the orphanage.
We are due to commence building this Project in December 2016 and are therefore currently fundraising with that deadline in mind. If you can help the people help the people project to commence by donating any amount big or small, these children will break the cycle of poverty and have an alternative to the life they have been given.