By Lamin Touray – Birmingham, UK
Just over two weeks after the declaration of a coronavirus pandemic by WHO and its possible impact on poorer communities around the world, Dr Nick Maurice launched a campaign to help the people of Gunjur in the Gambia. A retired doctor and former community linking executive in Marlborough, UK, Dr Nick is a long standing friend of Gunjur visiting the town seventy times from 1986.
Speaking about the fundraiser, Dr Nick as he is fondly called in Gunjur said he has written to a hundred friends in the UK who have been to Gunjur as part of a community link between the communities of Marlborough and Gunjur. He also reached out to the Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG), where he was once director through its board chairman Alex Davies. Mr Davies promised to match funds raised by Dr Nick up to twenty thousand pounds. Alex Davies was a volunteer teacher at a secondary school in Gunjur nearly 20 years ago. He is now the head of corporate social responsibility at St James’ Place (SJP), a company that supports projects in Gunjur.
Dr. Nick said he has been in consultation with Baai Jabang, the director of Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD) with regular updates.
In total, £20, 350 (twenty thousand, three hundred and fifty pounds) equal to D1, 220.00 ( One million, two hundred and twenty thousand Dalasis) was transferred to TARUD to provide food aid to the most needy in Gunjur.
Director Baai Jaabang of TARUD has expressed gratitude to DR. Nick Maurice, Alex Davies, the MBG and SJP. When contacted Mr. Jaabang said: “for the first time that Muslims, Christians and other faiths all benefited equally from TARUD’s intervention of this kind. For the very first time that all tribes in Gunjur have benefited from this laudable gesture in contributing to salvage the community from hunger especially during a pandemic.” He said many beneficiaries have approached him to register their thanks for the help rendered noting it will go a long way to maintain food security in the middle of a pandemic.