RESCUING, REHABILITATING and REDEEMING THOSE SEXUALLY ABUSED, EXPLOITED AND TRAFFICKED IN THE GAMBIA
“Please allow for construction work ahead, overdue editing work for the next few miles…..”
Samaritana grew out of an initial reaching out to girls her were hustling on the infamous SeneGambia tourist strip.
From there it grew into making Recycled plastic water bags, then Rag bags, then Recycle Sanitary kits, all the while visiting the local brothels as well
Then we took on 2 Interns who took things to the next step and that was doing 3 week presentations in schools, where we quickly uncovered a high degree of sexual abuse both by staff and in local communities.
After years of fighting to get Memorandum of Understandings with some Government departments amidst demands for fast fast money from their people, we now have 3 years later MOU with the Education and DSW.
God provided an excellent compound and The Samaritana Board which is Gambian controlled now, agreed to purchase it. Our team operates from this and we are able to provide accommodation as requested by victims, police and family. We run a Free Community Library with 1000 books, provide occupational and small group Rehabilitation using Play, Dance, Puppets, Water and Song Poems and other forms of Therapy.
In 2020, at our fast promoted from Intern to Investigator to Team Leader to CEO instigation, a visit was made to Liberia to see how things were on the ground, in the front-line fight against Gender Based Sexual Violence there.
Because of our reception there by a number of young women’s organisations who were desperate for a Safe House, we have established a local Board, and Core group of Founding Members and are negotiating for an acre compound where we can begin to Reach Rescue, Rehabilitate, Redeem Victims and Survivors, as well as prosecuting Offenders.
Below is listed in no particular order a list of our current
1 BRA’s: We supply bra’s and other free items to survivors of sexual abuse, to their mothers and sisters too, & to girls & women in our neighbourhood.
2 COURT WORK: We always accompany survivors and witnesses to court.
3 EVIDENCE: We replace lost case evidence, monitor it so it gets safely into & out of the Prosecution office, we continue this through the AG’s office too.
4 FOODSTUFFS: We redistribute free foodstuffs given to us, by a local supermarket in Fajara, passing any balance onto Hart House (children with physical & intellectual disabilities).
5 KITS: We make Recyclable Sanitary Kits (Occupational Therapy) which gives days back to girls for their education, days that they currently lose. The kits last 3 yr and survivors are paid to make them
6 LIBRARY: We run a Free Community Library for children & adults to use for study and reading. A local toubab runs English classes there as well.
7 MICRO-ENTERPRISE FUND: is available to all SamT team members and their families, so as to broaden their skills basis and provide for schooling.
8 POLICE: We get referrals from Police HQ & follow up victims and monitor their cases as well as offenders if they’re not in prison where they belong
9 SCHOOLS: We do School Presentations focusing on Good and Bad Touch, Relationships, Prostitution and Menstralation. Our Annon Question Box, that we use every session, always uncovers abuse
10 SPONSORS: We find ourselves acting as agents for tourists who ask us to handle sponsorship money gets to the family and child they are sponsoring.
11 SHELTER: We can shelter sexual abuse survivors, up to 10 children in at any one time. Our shelter is under the guidance of the DSW.
12 SURVIVORS: We do long term rehab ministry with survivors in Group Therapy (Art, Physical, Puppet Work, Dancing, Drama etc) as well as individual mentoring.
13 We pray for and with the victims and survivors. We do not proselytise