When more and more people became aware of what we were doing in The Gambia, we were gradually offered more and more materials as a result.
At a certain moment, however, this became so much, that we decided to start sending materials to our friends in The Gambia in between our visits to their country. In all those years, all of the boxes we sent have neatly been delivered to the addressees.
Unfortunately, shipment by mail became too expensive and so we switched to shipment by sea container, which is a lot cheaper. Our friends are very grateful for this type of help and they deeply appreciate it.
Although we are going on holiday to The Gambia twice a year, the number of kilograms of aid supplies you can take along yourselves is – of course – dependent on the airline luggage limit. Ever since friends and acquaintances know that Gambians can literally use anything (because they have nothing at all), we are regularly offered a large range of materials. This varies from plasters and bandages to shoes, from children’s clothing to pairs of glasses, from men’s and women’s clothing to school materials and from toys to tools.
Needless to say, we are very happy with everything we get for our Gambian friends, but the main problem in this case is that all this stuff has to be transported to The Gambia. We used to send 20-kilogram boxes by mail, but prices went up to almost € 100 a box! This method of sending materials became too expensive for us and so we started looking for a cheaper alternative…
By sea container
We happened to discover the option of sending the materials to The Gambia by sea container when we were talking to one of our fellow-passengers at the airport. It takes a little longer for the goods to arrive by boat than by mail (which sends by air), but the main aspect for our Gambian friends is that they do get them.
For shipment by sea container, just the volume of the boxes is important and not their weight, so that we are now able to send almost 2,000 kilograms of goods: about ten(!) times as much as by mail for the same amount!! The system of collecting the boxes in The Gambia has been perfectly arranged by the Dutchman in charge of shipping the containers, so that all boxes are neatly delivered to the addressees!
You can imagine that our friends are really looking forward to see this ship arrive in Banjul…