Churchwarden, St Giles
As many of you know, I help to run a wildlife education and conservation project in The Gambia, West Africa, that has been studying the birdlife of the region including a large number of migratory species which spend their winters in Sub-Saharan Africa after the breeding season in Europe. Throughout this time we have built up a strong team of local conservationists and ornithologists who run the project all year round.
On the many trips I have made to the region since 2005 I have got to know several families in the villages where we work and often stay with them while travelling. Therefore, over the weekend, I was very shocked to hear from one of our team members about a younger member of their family, an 8-year-old boy, who, on Friday, had been involved in a serious accident where he was hit by a speeding car and had incurred a number of life-changing injuries. Unfortunately, the level of healthcare available in that part of Africa is still woefully poor and families have to cover all the treatment costs themselves.
The family cannot even begin to provide the rapidly rising amounts requested by the hospital and have reached out to me for help with the treatment costs. We would like to move the boy, Muhammed Gassama, to a better hospital in the capital Banjul, where they have more experience of orthopaedic surgery required to set the bones that have been fractured in the boy's legs and arms. Clearly, it's crucial that Muhammed receives the best care he can now otherwise there is a real risk that the rest of life will be heavily impacted by what has happened.
As a result of these worrying developments, I am hoping to carry out some fundraising locally so that we can help out my colleague's family with the increasing hospital costs for treating Muhammed. If anyone in our local congregations and church family feels able to donate a small amount then please let me know by email at email@example.com. I will coordinate the transfer of the money to the hospital and provide regular updates on the progress of Muhammed's recovery.
Love and best wishes,
Dr OJL Fox
Kartong Bird Observatory