Chamen is a small village on the North side of the Gambian River, about 10 km off the main road. This rural village has about 2000 inhabitants and is the “capital” of the district Nianija.
What we are doing in Chamen is different from the question, what we could do there. At the moment we run a small nutrition center which cares for malnourished patients. In order to do so, we can admit them (6 beds) but more common is our care for malnourished outpatients, who are fit enough to go home with their food supply.
We also support the Government Health Center in their duty to see “normal” (not malnourished) outpatients, we help them when they have staff shortage and with their treks to nearby villages, or when needed in obstetric, eye care or minor surgery.
We run a small garden project in order to improve nutrition of families, to grow medicinal plants and for herbal medicine production.
A small group of believers meets once per month for a service, but also nearly on a daily basis as one is our cook, the other one our compound care taker.
If we would have the personnel and skills, we could go and help teaching in the local school – especially with Maths, English and Religious education. Also help on a one to one basis for additional studies is so much appreciated. The former waiting hall of the old Chamen health center could be used as a skill center e.g. for a carpenter to train local young man in carpentry. Teaching others skills like sewing or embroidery would give good opportunities to meet and be with local people. Home based care could be done for some patients who cannot come anymore to the Health Center or who would need support with physiotherapy. There are many opportunities to share the good news about Jesus – even if one cannot speak the local language Fula, because lots of audio or visual material is available and can be used via MP3 player, mobile phones or with a small beamer.
At the moment we are a small team, two long termer, one short termer. One long termer and the STW are working mainly in the health sector, the other long termer is on fulltime language study – but takes care of the garden project.