My huge congratulations and sincere thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with this year’s wrist-banding and programme selling at Shambala festival. Your support ensured that thousands of festival goers made it on to the site with a big smile on their faces – and a colourful band on their wrists!
You have also helped continue the six year legacy of support that Shambala director Jon Walsh has extended to this charity. Connections like these not only bring additional funds, they also share the Bansang story with diverse new audiences that we would never otherwise reach.
Here’s to there being many more years of Shambala Festival
Anita Smith MBE
Founder & Director, Bansang Hospital Appeal
We are pleased to pass on the following update from our friends at the ‘Association Aide pour L’Hopital Bansang Gambie’;
2014 proved to be a really successful year for fund raising in the heart of the Dordogne. We actually made an amazing 8865€.
We are a very small band of committee members, but we have some brilliant supporters. We raised the money by holding an annual plant sale in May, along with Vide Greniers (car boots), coffee mornings, a race night and the annual Marche de Noel (Christmas Market) In Abjat Sur Bandiat. We completed the year with a carol singing evening in our local restaurant, the Sense de la Terre in Piegut; capped with the usual seasonal cheer of mince pies and punch!
A huge thank you goes to all those who contributed and supported us. We couldn’t have done it without you.
On behalf of everyone in Bansang, thank you for making such a wonderful contribution. Donations of this magnitude really do make an enormous difference
We hope 2015 proves to be an equally successful year.
Thank you to ‘Uncle Bob’ for his tremendous support over the years; and for providing the charity with storage space at his warehouse in Wellingborough. Thanks also go to our volunteer accountant, Richard Harvey (pictured). He not only deals with all of the charities finances, but has always been there whenever containers have needed loading – and for a myriad of other things besides!
Thanks also go out to Glenis Haynes, who helped throughout the morning (but who escaped before this photo was taken!). We would also like to thank the hundreds of other people who have helped us load containers over the years! Volunteering in this way has allowed us to send 50 containers of aid since 1992…and in so doing, contribute hugely to the uplift in conditions at Bansang Hospital.
Anita is currently in Bansang alongside a couple of faces you may recognise, Richard and James (friends of Anita’s daughter, Alexia, and son, Grant). Since their arrival, they have experienced a traditional Bansang welcome party, assisted in collecting blood from local villages for transfusions, helped with play therapy on the children’s ward, and contributed to the ongoing fundraising effort through the collection of information and photo’s for our sponsors across the globe.
As is so often the case, the positive changes that Rich and James witnessed around the hospital were juxtaposed with scenes of absolute devastation in a local village. As can be seen to a small extent in the photos above, fire destroyed much of the village, along with their entire harvest. It is a measure of Rich and James that they chose to give all of their remaining Gambian currency to the villagers.
It is important to note that although there are some big NGO’s operating in the Gambia, time and again they take far too long to react to such localised crises. The BHA is different. Under Anita’s guidance and in liaison with the hospital’s management, we have helped countless villages and individuals over the years who have been in urgent need. We are proud of the support we have extended in such circumstances; and we are forever grateful for your support in allowing us to be that constant source of hope.
If you are from the UK and would like to support our varied work, please text ‘BANS14‘ followed by your donation amount (£5 or £10) to 70070 (eg BANS14 £10)
Alternatively, please click on the image below to donate via Virgin Money Giving.
Best wishes to Dr Christopher Bonham who will today complete his Officer training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. We are proud to consider Chris as one of the Bansang family after he and his friend Dr Dominic Fudge volunteered at the hospital as part of their medical elective.
We wish Chris well in his career as a doctor in the army, and look forward to inviting both him and his wife Dr Yuki Takagi back to Bansang in the future.
(To learn more about volunteering, visit our contribute page
It was a wonderful day, one very much befitting of the couple. Thanks also to Wandifa Samateh and the rest of the Bansang Hospital management for sending such a nice letter to Chris. He was visibly moved when his father read out the words to the wedding party. He had no idea just how much his contribution during his 6 week stay was valued….and it gives him (and Yuki) an even stronger desire to contribute to Bansang in the future.
We wish them both all the best as they forge a new life together (and look forward to having them both return to Bansang in the future)