What links Bansang Hospital & President Barack Obama? (Clue: one rather extraordinary man)

Many of you reading this will have already heard about Bansang Hospital’s administrator, Baboucarr Saine. He has been an instrumental part in the dramatic improvements we have seen across the hospital in recent years. I am therefore very proud to relay the news that his dynamism has been recognised far beyond the walls of Bansang Hospital. The following letter was written by Baboucarr earlier in the year;

I have been selected out of 350 young leaders in the Gambia to attend the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africa Leaders. The Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama aimed at providing leadership and and managerial skills to young African leaders so that we can serve as game changers in our communities.

I’ll be leaving The Gambia 17th June, 2016 for Atlanta Georgia. I’ll attend a six week intensive academic residency at Georgia State University, after which I’ll travel to Washington D.C to attend a three day summit to be hosted by President Obama. He will there to address 1000 promising young African leaders including my humble self. After the summit, I’ll travel to Minnesota to do a six week internship at Hennepin County Medical Center (a Level 1 trauma Hospital in  Minnesota). When the internship ends in October, I’ll return to Bansang to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained in the U.S. I’ll be in touch and will send regular updates as I progress in my Fellowship.

Baboucarr is now in America – and has sent me an update on his experiences thus far;

Asamoulaikum and Eid Mubarak to you all. I hope you all had a wonderful Eid with your families. May Allah (SWT) accept our Fast and grant our prayers. May our goals and aspirations for the hospital come true. Unfortunately for me, I was given just one hour to attend Eid prayers and return to class. Despite that, week 3 like the previous weeks was interesting and very educative. We had lectures on Criminal and Civil laws, Public Speaking, Public Administration and Organisational Behaviour.

Also, we had the special honour and privilege of meeting the Mayor of Atlanta, Mohammed Kassim Reed. The Mayor shared with us his leadership philosophy and grand vision for the city of Atlanta. Currently, the city of Atlanta has the biggest Airport in the U.S, and also serves as the Head Quarters of major global brands/companies such as Coca-Cola, Cable News Network (CNN News Media), United Parcel Services (UPS), Delta Airlines etc. The state of Georgia also has the fourth biggest seaport in the US. At the end of the meeting, we all felt inspired; an African-American leading one of the most vibrant cities in the United States and the main business hub of America.

Personally, I came to realise that with commitment, a clear vision and sense of purpose a leader can achieve anything even what may seem impossible. I wish you all a great week ahead. Attached are few photos I want to share. God bless us and bless The Gambia.

It really is wonderful to see that incredibly inspiring people like Baboucarr are being recognised at the very highest levels of the the international community. I wish him continuing success on the fellowship programme, and a wonderful time at President Obama’s leadership summit in Washington D.C!



Anita Smith MBE

Founder & Director, Bansang Hospital Appeal



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