Nelson, a 19-year-old young man from the Gambia, the eldest son of his recently deceased father, lives with his mother, three little brothers, and his sister. Their rent per month is 7,000 Gambian Dalasi (this equates to around US $150 including any transfer fees). This, however, does not include the cost to feed this family.
From what I’ve come to understand, a huge bag of rice 25kg (or 55lbs) costs around 1,100 Gambian Dalasi (or about US $20-25); watermelon is around 200 Dalasi. Food doesn’t really come easy for these people, and before I met him, there were days when his family would go without eating, and they would starve.
His mother went to the hospital the month before I met him and her fees were around 9,000-10,000 Gambian Dalasi. Because of this, they were behind on rent. This young man found me on Instagram and messaged me. Being that I respond to everyone, I decided to respond and get acquainted with him. Though I was afraid it could be a scam, I noticed he never really asked for money. Rather, he was always talking about his love for God, for his family, etc., though he did cry over the phone at times because of his current living situation and his fear that he would not be able to afford rent.
After video chatting a few times and seeing for myself that this does not at all appear to be a scam, I decided to help him. The police would have forced him and his family out of their home because of their inability to pay rent. However, I have managed to send $125 myself, my dad sent an additional $50, I received another $50 from a friend, and $40 from two others. This was enough to help them with their medical expenses and rent, but now it is a new month and though I have encouraged him to start working and making money, his new job pays him only 250 Gambian Dalasi per day to work a TEN HOUR SHIFT from 7am to 5pm (also the job is not secure long-term). To put it into perspective, 250 Gambian Dalasi equates to around US $5 (including transfer fees, etc.).
I am doing my best to help him on my own, but I am not a very rich man myself, but I know that together we can help this young man and my plan is to only send him money on an as-needed basis, so that he may be encouraged to work hard and find a way to live without depending too much on our generosity.
If any of you have it in your hearts to give anywhere from $10 to $25 to help, it would make a huge difference in this young man's life, and so that he can help his family survive especially during these times when farming is very difficult since there is no rain.
If you have any questions/concerns, you can reach me personally on Instagram @StevinHabba.
I will personally provide you with updates on his family’s life and well-being when asked <3
He is also a Christian and he sang this very cute song to me “Read your Bible, pray every day... pray every day... pray every day. Read your Bible, pray every day if you want... to... grow” It's better when he sings it haha, I love you all, and may God bless you in your generosity.
- Kimmy Hibbert
- Sandra Slewa
- Maxine Adorno
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