A brief history of WEC in the Gambia
The first people to enter Gambia in the name of WEC were David and Margaret Barron in 1959. They were called to work among the Jolas and settled in Sibanor Village. However, less than a year after their arrival, David died and Margaret returned to UK.
The Gambia gained independence in 1965, and a year later in 1966, three German nurses (Maria, Hanna and Ruth) were able to enter the country and given permission by the Government to establish a medical work in Sibanor.
Also in 1996, WEC was given a piece of land in Fajara where the headquarters and a small clinic were established.‘Pipeline Road’ (now Kairaba Avenue) at that time was a quiet road with only a few houses. It is now one of the busiest roads in the country with many well-established businesses.
1968 – 1970 The work grew as more nurse/midwives and a doctor joined the team
1972 – Agriculture station established in Somita
1973 – Auxiliary Nurses Training started in Sibanor
1974 – Mandinka reading classes began
1975 – Medical work expanded to Jarrol
1976 – Mandinka literacy programme started
1979 – Mandinka New Testament translation commenced
1982 – Primary Health Care in 18 villages
1987 – Agriculture work opened in Bwiam and weekly youth activities
1989 – Evangelical Church of the Gambia is registered // Mandinka New Testament dedicated
1990 – Secondment of two nurses to Government Health centre in Chamen
1991 – Omega Training Institute (typing school) established (handed over to private Gambian initiative in 2003)
1993 – Rural development and camp site in Kampant
1996 – Skill centre opened in Nemakunku (now self sustaining) // Wolof literacy classes started.
1997 – Jola literacy started
1998 – Welingara Skill Centre opened (handed over to church in 2008)
1999 – CLM Bookshop opened // Reproductive Health Unit set up in Brikama (handed over to local NGO in 2004)
2000 – First WEC member to teach at the University of the Gambia
2002 – Car mechanic workshop set up in Fajara (now closed)
2008 – Anti Retroviral Treatment Centre began in Sibanor
2010 – Learning Centre opened in Panchang
2012 – Jola New Testament launched
The Evangelical Church of the Gambia was born out of WEC and was registered as an institution in 1989.