About Us

The Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) one of the oldest community links in the world.  We connect the people of Marlborough and the surrounding area with the people of Gunjur in The Gambia.  ...

Become a Friend

Support us now as a friend Joining MBG as a friend couldn't be easier. Use the drop down to select which level of payment you would like to make, then click on the 'Become a Friend' button, which ...

Experience the REAL Gambia

WGEC runs an annual teachers' study visits to Gunjur, The Gambia and literally hundreds of teachers from Wiltshire and beyond have benefitted personally and professionally from the experience of ...

Projects

Vision: To support TARUD to alleviate poverty and hardship faced by the community of Gunjur In 1990 MBG started several development projects in Gunjur and the surrounding area based around health ...

Setting up School Links

Linking schools in Wiltshire (and beyond) with schools in the Gambia is at the heart of what we do at WGEC. For any school that has been involved at any level with school linking, whether with a ...

Small Business Development

In common with many international development agencies the focus of MBG and TARUD's work in Gunjur has focussed on women's development. We have been involved in a women's literacy and numeracy ...

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Covid-19 appeal

Please contribute to support our Emergency Fund set up to support the poorest members of the Gunjur community who will suffer greatly as a result of the COVID-9 pandemic.

Our partners at TARUD in Gunjur will help distribute funds to support the poorest families in Gunjur where food prices are already rising quickly. TARUD Director Baai Jabang's latest report is below.

MBG has committed to match fund all donations up to £20,000.  So far over £10,250 has been donated, matched by MBG to total over £20,500. 

If you felt able to make a donation, the people of Gunjur would clearly be hugely grateful and it may literally save lives.

If you would like to donate just send us a donation and put 'emergency' in the 'special notes' box.

Make your donation go further with Gift Aid  Gift Aid

Remember to Gift Aid your donation. If you are a UK tax payer you can Gift Aid your donations, making them worth 25% more to us, at no extra cost to you! We can claim back the tax you have paid on your donation (25p for every £1 you donate) through Gift Aid.

In order for us to claim gift aid, please complete the Gift Aid Declaration Form and email back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

UPDATE: over £20,500 riased, 430 families supported

Thank you to the many people who have donated to support this emergency fund. Over £20,500 has been raised so far, amazing. Through our Gambian NGO partner TARUD 900 bags of rice have been distributed to 430 of the most vunerable familes in Gunjur.  The two bags of rice will feed a family compond for two months preventing hunger and financial pressure. 

Baai Jabang, Director of TARUD, the Gunjur deveopment agency we set up in 1997 reports:

"At the start of May there have only been eleven reported cases of coronavirus in The Gambia and one death, but the land and sea border with Senegal is extremely porous and there have been many more cases in that country, 1024 with 9 deaths. There is also a very limmited ability to test for the virus.  The outlook for The Gambia is not good.

"The Gambian Government has demanded the appropriate measures of lockdown, hand washing and keeping one’s distance from other people. But in country with large families living together in small compounds, often without piped water, the water having to be fetched either from a nearby tap or well, and in a community where social gatherings and five times daily communal prayers at the Mosques in Gunjur are all the norm, it is difficult and often impractible to persuade people to lockdown and keep their distance from friends and extended family in neighbouring compounds.

"Food supplies are becoming limited and of course it is the poorest who suffer most. 25 years ago 80% of the rice consumed in The Gambia was ‘home grown’. Climate change has meant less rainfall and therefore a requirement for irrigation. But the combination of the reduced amount of rain and with sea levels rising, this has resulted in salination of the Gambia river a further 50 miles upstream. The river bisects the whole country and was a vital source of water for crops in neighbouring fields, but that salt water cannot now be used to irrigate crops.

"CRITICAL

"More than 80% of Gambian staple food (Rice) is imported from other countries hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Food reserves in the Gambia are sufficient for not more than 6 months or even less. This situation may plunge the country into hunger and chaos in search of survival options. Food prices are already rising fast hitting the poorest in the community.

"A seven member task force representing the Alkali and the council of elders, the Village Development Committee, Linking Without Boarders, Gunjur Development Association and TARUD is responsible for assessing abject poor families and ranking them based on the levels of poverty: ability and frequency of buying a bag of rice, daily ration purchase - per cup buying from the shop and how often is this done, the ability to provide minimum of two square meals per day, family or household head - M/F, family size, means of living, other livelihood activities, sources of income if any and other measure of variables.

Read Baai Jabang's detailed report on the second food distribution here.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Two food distrubtions have taken place, covered by Gambian local and national media / TV.  The lorry below was just half the rice distributed. 

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TARUD has also distributed bucket pumps, soap and some sanizers to be distributed to strategic locations in Gunjur including the health centre, market and other areas.

bucket pumps soap and some sanizers to be distributed to strategic locations in Gunjur including the health centre market and other areasIMG 20200406 130912 7