“Hi Saul, Thank you so much for your support and hard work – at last the thirty Mosquito Nets are now delivered safely to Bradford and are waiting to be shipped out to Gambia in October. Your support and actions will mean so much for a few local Gambian Families and will help them to have a better quality of life. I could not have achieved my immediate goal without you / Rohan. My sincere thanks. Pauline“
At Rohan Harrogate, we love to share news about the great things people do, and here’s a story from a customer that inspired us recently:
Like many of our customers, Pauline Link has a spirit of adventure. Over the last couple of years, she has fulfilled her life-long aim to work as a volunteer abroad. Having reached a point in her life where she felt able to do this, Pauline was willing to go and work anywhere, as long as she was using her time and skills to help someone.
In May 2008, Pauline became involved with a Bradford-based charity which provides education for children in The Gambia, as there is no state provision for children under 7 years old. The voluntary work Pauline undertakes can range from painting schools, cleaning and preparing classrooms, teaching small groups of children, purchasing and planting fruit trees so the children can enjoy fresh fruit, and helping to make handmade bricks to enable new schools, small school kitchens, and toilet blocks, to be built. Pauline says, “It is wonderful to be a volunteer with the local people, in their own environment. The Gambian people are very proud, warm, respectful and hospitable. They are interested in our country and cultures. The children are eager to learn and enjoy being educated.”
Many of us may feel daunted at the prospect of travelling to The Gambia, whatever our age and experience but Pauline’s approach is simple: “Prior to leaving I try and cover all eventualities regarding my health whilst I am out in The Gambia.” And as for risks? “Risks I don’t think about; there are risks in everyday life”. Pauline’s outlook is that each journey is a new experience. “I embrace my visits to The Gambia and I am very humbled and privileged to have spent time there with the local people. On returning to Harrogate, I am pleased to be home with my family but eager to return with thoughts of what can I do on my next visit.”
Something that struck Pauline was the great respect that the Gambian people have for their fellow man. She noticed a strong bond and friendship between each other, combined with respect for the family and their elders. Families take responsibility for the extended family. Most important: they have hope, and Pauline was determined to build on this.
Pauline is a qualified nurse and started to appreciate that she may be able to help improve the health of the people of Kumbija village in The Sabach Sanjal District North Bank Region of The Gambia. One of the biggest threats to health in The Gambia is malaria. It only takes one mosquito bite; this parasitic infection kills around 1500 children annually in The Gambia and indirectly contributes to the death of hundreds more. But Pauline was determined to save lives in The Gambia, with her Mosquito Net Project.
“The cheapest, safest, most environmentally friendly and effective way to protect against bites and infection is the use of bed nets,” explains Pauline. “But with many other demands on the family income often families cannot afford to buy nets. I made enquiries about the cost of supplying Mosquito Nets to the families of Kumbija village and I soon appreciated I would need some additional help. I approached my fellow Harrogate Soroptimists and asked them to consider supporting this worthwhile cause to help fund Mosquito Nets for Kumbija village. It was approved unanimously.”
The next step was for Pauline to meet with Saul, Manager of Rohan Harrogate and explain her large demand for Mosquito Nets. They agreed it was better to provide a family with a double Net so more than one person could benefit from the protection it would provide. The Mosquito Nets from Rohan are treated with Permethrin and are ready to hang. Through the extra support and goodwill from Saul and his Colleagues at Rohan, Pauline has been able to purchase many more Nets. When Pauline returns to The Gambia on 20th November to support and work alongside the local people, “it will be a great privilege to donate and help to hang the Mosquito Nets in the homes in Kumbjia village.”
Pauline’s philosophy on life is simple: everyone should be treated equally with respect and dignity. Treat other people how you would like to be treated yourself. Pauline’s Mosquito Net Project puts this philosophy into action. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Saul at Rohan Harrogate.