Many many children here, find themselves trapped in the cycle of sexual exploitation, from parents marrying them off very young, through to male educators through to tertiary levels wanting sexual favours for sponsorship or worse, to pass exams. And sadly step-fathers and brothers are common in rape cases.
Women too often feel desperate through poverty to prostitute themselves, for as little as One Pound.
Built on the solid foundation of Christ, the primary focus of Samaritana is to point these girls and women to an understanding and acceptance of the Love of Allah*/God, and to demonstrate His love to them by our non-invasive service.
But first we focus on building genuine friendships with them wherever and however possible. When they begin to trust us, we offer alternative opportunities to think, act and earn.
We also offer rehab, from girls clubs and tutoring through to art/dance/and writing as well occupational therapy, where they can also earn money.
Samaritana Mission Summary
Samaritana Gambia provides support to sexually exploited women and girls along with those exiting the sex industry. We use holistic approaches (spiritual, emotional, and educational) to help them find hope, love and dignity
To see girls and women transition from the sex industry. To create safety and community. To address barriers for change. To build self-esteem. To aid girls and women in identifying and applying skills, strategies and solutions to the physical, systemic, emotional, financial and legal or immigration barriers they face here in The Gambia.
Samaritana Core Values
- Dignity for all women and children as they are all valuable to God and His Kingdom.
- Integrity in all we do as we strive to be good stewards of the resources God provides to us.
- Grace and Compassion as demonstrated by Jesus.
- New hope for a transformed life in all aspects.
- Inspiration for a positive identity of themselves
- Trust in God’s love.
- Yielding to Biblical principles in ourselves so as to be servants to them.
Samaritana Ministry Objectives
- Provide spiritual guidance and healing to sexually exploited women & those desiring to leave the sex Industry.
- To provide counselling and mentoring, art and heart therapy;
- To demonstrate genuine love providing examples of nurturing relationships;
- To work in any relevant and useful partnerships with community resources and other organizations.
- To mentor women to learn to live communally modeling life skills and healthy relationships;
- To assist in finding jobs and/or educational opportunities so the women become able to provide for their needs
- To establish relationships with sex trade workers in the hope to later provide assistance to leave the sex trade;
- To network and support other organizations across West Africa who are dedicated to similar goals.
- To become a financially self-sustaining ministry.
Samaritana Board of Trustees
- We have a small multinational board of 7 who are the kaitiakitangata (guardians) of Samaritana’s affairs
- Christiana is a very educated young Gambian leader, who brings to the table the local “big” picture questions.
- Esther is a real live Mother Hubbard: Of English parents, born in Nigeria, in her 12th year in the Gambia.
- Layne, from the USA, is a member of the University of The Gambia Academic Theological Staff.