Real lives

Real lives


Real lives

Breast milk is best
Exclusive breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development.

Empowering young women for hygiene promotion
Only 20-years-old, Fatoumatta Jarra from the tiny Bambara village of Sami, in the Central River Region of The Gambia, shifted uncomfortably as her father, the village head, encouraged her to attend a training on good sanitation and hygiene practices.

Protecting children from diseases and environmental dangers through open defecation abandonment.
It was a warm evening in the Fula village of Jakoto, in the Central River Region (CRR) of The Gambia, and 9-year-old Abby Sallah found a clump of bushes just outside the village to ease herself because there was no toilet at home.

Religion encourages cleanliness” – One woman’s drive to eradicate open defecation in her village
“Religion encourages good health and cleanliness. As Muslims, we must do what is right!” These words have been spoken many times by 50-year-old Fatoumatta Jallow, a mother of seven children from the Fula village of Sare Sofie.

The greatest teachers: Mothers promoting health and hygiene in the household
Three-year-old Adama Hawa Barry and her seven-year-old sister, Fatoumatta Barry, are shining examples of children who are disciplined in exercising good hygiene and sanitation practices, thanks to the interventions of their mother, Isatou Jallow.

Young people call for the abandonment of open defecation
In The Gambia’s Upper River Region, in the Fula village of Sare Birom, 16-year-old Giby Kandeh a grade 5 drop-out, worked endlessly beside other young men in the village to support the construction of improved latrines for those who could not afford to do

Supporting high impact campaigns for vitamin A supplementation
As Matu Jawara approached the communal tap around the bend from her house, she noticed the long queue of women and girls waiting their turn to draw clean, safe water for their day to day domestic use.

Stimulating the young mind: The promotion of toys in ECD centre
It was late morning and Jola Badjie, a traditional birth attendant and traditional communicator, decided to stop by the village Early childhood and Development (ECD) Centre on her way home from a friend’s house.

Our very own ‘school horse cart’: Creating access to basic education
In poor urban communities, parents advocate for school buses to get their youngest children safely to school and back.

2011 crop failure contributes to malnutrition in children
The village of Bakadaji, in The Gambia’s impoverish Upper River Region, like many other villages, suffers greatly from the effects of the erratic rains in 2011.

Changing attitudes for good health practices
Hawa Sisawo, a 32-year-old mother of six, smiled mirthfully as her active 6-months-old daughter, Isatou, pushed her breast away impatiently and gave a loud burp of satisfaction.

Regaining their dignity: Sanitation in times of flooding
Fanta Jabbie, a mother and grandmother in her mid-fifties, smiled proudly and happily as she stared out into the far corner of her compound.

“They are not better than me”: Discrimination against polio victims
Twenty-six year-old Ndey Trawally is a mother of two and a part-time hairdresser from Bundung, a largely populated urban community in the Kanifing Municipality; one of two municipalities in The Gambia.

Stamping out measles for good
Mariama Jammeh, a young mother of three children, was already up before dawn on Tuesday, 13th December 2011 – much earlier than her usual wake-up hour.

Safe water prevents diarrhoea
About two years ago, Maimouna Jallow (Maie), 32, lived with her family of four – a husband and three children – in a one room hut made of mud and thatch in the village of Sakoli Kunda, in the Upper River Region.

Nyanya died: A repercussion of early marriage
“I want to tell you the story of a girl I knew many years ago,” began 48 year-old Fatoumatta Danso in a quiet, nostalgic voice.

I want to go back to school
“I want to go back to school more than anything else, but my father cannot afford to let me go,” said 16 year-old Amadou Juldeh Baldeh.

Double trouble: Malnutrition and FGM/C
As a mother of 4 living in the village of Kolley Kunda, in the remotest region of The Gambia, the Upper River Region, 40-year-old Wopa Jawo supports her family on microfinance activities and horticulture.

Changing social and cultural norms: Fathers immunize their children against measles
Since the dawn of time, women have traditionally been the sole custodians of child upbringing, among other domestic responsibilities, including watching over the health of their children.

Breaking the calabash: Abandoning FGM/C and other HTPs
On the bright January morning in 2011, in the Fula village of Sare Alpha in The Gambia’s remotest and most impoverish region, the Upper River Region (URR), 30-year-old Demmu Baldeh could hardly sit still from excitement.

Adolescents: The new agents of change
It is the crack of dawn and the orange sun is just starting to peek out from behind the horizon, casting its golden glow over the waking village of Balo Omar, which is situated in the district of Sabach Sanjal in the North Bank Region of The Gambia.

“She could’ve been alive today” – A mother’s regret
Weeping quietly, 37 year-old Matou Jawara watched with profound helplessness as her daughter’s condition deteriorated further, while wishing fervently that she had not asked the village circumciser (the initiator) to cut her Khaddy - even though it was wh

Harmful traditional practices: A thing of the past
It was an extraordinary day in Basse, in the Upper River Region where the joint Government of the Gambia-Tostan-UNICEF Community Empowerment Programme (CEP) is being implemented.

A right to citizenship
Once every few months, 57 year-old Sulayman Saidy, the village facilitator of Tostan’s Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), encourages new parents to register their children.

A mother’s contribution
Up until a few years ago, Daba Ceesay, a 45 year-old mother of seven children, had no prior experience with polio.

That frightful thing called polio
It was not yet 9.30 a.m., but 36 year-old Jabou Bojang, a mother of six children and a housewife/sandwich vendor by profession, was already hurrying down the dusty road leading to her house in Banjulinding, in the Western Region of The Gambia.



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