storyteller. creator. collaborator. visual


My return to Gambia

It’s been an exciting past few months for me here in Manchester. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of working on some amazing projects with some inspiring individuals. But now I'd like to turn my attention and efforts to helping those less fortunate and that's what this post is about...

I’m very influenced by a trip I took to The Gambia in 2014. In two weeks I met and felt acceptance and love by a community of people who have nothing. Since then I have sponsored a little girl called Fatima to go to school. Without this her family would struggle to put her through education. A sponsorship costs £50 a year and covers her school fees, uniform, books and pencils. I feel blessed that my small donation per year makes the biggest difference to someone else’s life. We don’t get to choose where we’re born and I like to think if it were me in the shoes of a poverty stricken life there would be someone lucky enough to have been dealt the right cards who would be willing to help.

I’m super excited to announce after 3 years I have booked flights back to the Gambia with my friend Hannah, who also sponsors and donates.  We've collected charitable goods - everything from new football boots, football shirts, dresses, new underwear and toys. 

The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest and poorest nations. Out of 187 countries it is ranked the 168th poorest in the United Nations Development Programme. Poverty is widespread with approximately three quarters of the rural population classed as poor. 49 out of 1000 children do not make it to their 5th birthday. 

We want to change this and do the little bit that we can to make a difference to those who need it most. A small amount of money can make the biggest difference to a man or woman's struggling business, a child's education, protection from malaria and so many more things to change their quality of life. 

I was overwhelmed when sharing a picture of Fatima on my Facebook lead to a £600 anonymous donation and friends enquiring about how they can help to sponsor. This gave me the drive and inspiration to go back and take more pictures and video to help share their story in the hope that there may be more people reading this that want to help make a change. 


Madeleine Penfold