Gambia is a small country in West Africa, which is surrounded by Senegal. Although most people are Muslim, they have religious freedom. WEC has been engaged in various social projects in Gambia since 1965 but nowadays is primarily involved in ones regarding the education system, translation of the Bible and literature. As a result, WEC also works in close partnership with the local church (ECG).
Project: WEC International founded and ran a clinic for 50 years, before handing it over to the Evangelical Church of the Gambia (ECG) at the beginning of 2018. WEC continues to support the ECG church, particularly by helping to recruit expatriate clinical staff (doctors, nurses, laboratory and pharmacy staff).
Our aim is to meet the needs of the whole Person: those of body and mind, as well as social and spiritual ones through outpatient, inpatient and community care. The clinic offers general outpatient services for five days a week plus a 24/7 emergency service. We have a small 13 bed ward, a 4 bed postnatal ward, and two isolation cubicles. An additional 8 bed ward is to be built shortly.
We strongly believe in outreach to the local communities and – when not restricted by Covid – we undertake visits to surrounding villages to screen for hypertension and diabetes. During these visits we are able to share the gospel. We also carry out home visits to people living with HIV and other chronic diseases.
The new Gambian team has a vision to establish a nursing school to train community nurses for Gambia. The curriculum will follow the Gambian Government recommendations and values of Whole Person Medicine and compassion will be taught. Additionally, it is planned to hold regular optional seminars about the Christian faith and values.
Accommodation: There is comfortable secure accommodation available on the Health Centre compound, subject to agreement of the Health Centre CEO.
- You would work alongside our locally trained Gambian midwives. Only women with low risk pregnancies are booked to deliver in the clinic.
- Depending on your experience you may be able to work in the ward or with outpatients, and also participate in on-call duties
- There may be opportunities to take part in the outreach visits to the villages
- There would be opportunities to be involved in teaching
Challenges: A lot of patients do not speak English which means that you will work through a translator. You will be encouraged to learn some vocabulary of the most commonly spoken local language (Mandinka).
Activities outside of the project: Besides your work in the Health Centre, there are many opportunities to get involved with local church, youth club and village outreach. Serve the Lord in many ways together with the local church and the clinic in their evangelism.
Leisure activities: The area is good for walks and it is also possible to go canoeing nearby. At the coast there is a western-style tourist area with great safe beaches.
Team: As we’ve handed over the WEC-clinic to the local church, you would work under Gambian leadership with a mainly local team. But you would be part of the WEC Gambia team, consisting of about 20 WEC members, who work in various locations. There are currently two other WEC members living in Sibanor.
Churches: The ECG (Evangelical church of Gambia), which was founded by WEC some years ago. There are several quite large churches in the coastal areas and smaller ones inland including one in the village of Sibanor and another at nearby Bwiam.
Special benefits: Gambians are extremely welcoming and hospitable people, with whom you can quickly feel at home (if you adapt to and respect their culture and dress code!).
- You have at least 1 year postgraduate work experience
- You are proficient in English
- You are flexibile and a willing to try new ways of working
- You are ready to work under local leadership
- Experience of work in a remote setting or without medical support would be helpful
Previous volunteers are ready to give more details:
Dr. Margaret: email@example.com