THE GAMBIA

END OF YEAR 2023

 

Positive change has occurred in 2023 due to the good dedication of Fabakary Sanneh and his work in the community in conjunction with Artists for a Better World. These groups have worked together to give more hope for the future of the citizens of The Gambia – with over 1,500 social betterment books given out this past year to people of all ages – and thousands getting the messages of these campaigns through the media too!

(Letter from Fabakary Sanneh follows)

Dear President AFABW,
I am very glad to send you the development from the Artists for Better World Africa Chapter along with Fabakary Rural community Support Initiatives (FRSCI) which has been keenly working in a quest to promote creativity through the Get High on Arts, Say no to Drugs campaign and The Way To Happiness and Human Rights activities in both communities and schools.

SUCCESS STORIES:
1. Fifteen communities were engaged with the “Get High on Art, Say no to Drugs” program, with more awareness of the harm of drugs.
2. We positively engaged children on arts and creativity with their own personal imagination improved.
3. Community elders support the initiatives and want us to continue with it and spread it to other places.
4. We got out hundreds of The Way to Happiness and Drug Free World books.
5. The kids got to do more art in our interventions instead of getting involved with negative social vices.
6. Young people’s idleness reduced as a results of our activities.
7. Ten school heads were briefed about our interventions.
8. Community traditional Educators were sensitized (making them more aware of problems, and the solution)
9. Divergent youth groups and associations have been involved.
10. Sensitization of children on Human Rights and their responsibilities improved in a quest toward positive living.
11. We have to acknowledge and give special thanks and appreciation to AFABW for Providing us with a brand-new generator with a stabilizer for our community projects and school activities. This has immensely contributed in terms of bringing awareness to the vulnerable communities in the Gambia.
12. So many children were changed with a positive attitude and a Big “SAY NO TO DRUGS CAMPAIGN” and other social betterment. Parents really appreciated the initiative and gave us courage to continue because it makes children focus on good morals and do away with negative social vices like drugs abuse, crime, and rape.
We urge others to join and help us to make the AFABW Gambia chapter unique in Africa. We can do this through taking challenges to combat the ills of society through the arts and social betterment programs.

Thank you,

Fabakary Sanneh – President/Coordinator
AFABW Africa Chapter – and FRSCI

SUMMER 2023

 

Youth for Human Rights, Drug Free World and The Way to Happiness

In his true style, Fabakary Sanneh led the education of people of all ages on social betterment education. At the forefront were Youth for Human Rights, Drug Free World and The Way to Happiness.

In June Fabakary led sessions on Human Rights, with the Regional Childrens Assembly with key stakeholders including Regional education, Police, Drug Control Agency, Social welfare and Community children’s protection. 25 Human Rights books were given out to attendees.

Parents appreciated the increase in the children’s awareness and idleness and drug usage reduced. There was more unity among communities, and more youth coordinators involved.

Summer Camp
The Camp for kids was a big success with more than 250 participants. The two-day camp was comprised of a series of activities, from sports to arts, including the Get High on Art Say no to Drugs program – with the following statistics:
Distribution of 250 Truth about Drugs books, (more than 140 said they will never use drugs), 150 The Way to Happiness books. 10 local authorities were present, community Elders supported the activities and moral lessons, 5 villages came to grace the occasion, The Deputy Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports was present as well as State TV.
Fabakary says: “The three days of camping was great and the books were given out and they were very impressive. The FRCSI The Gambia and AFABW International are positively changing lives in the communities and the schools. They are reducing crime, raping, stealing, bullying and madness. The Red cross was very happy and promised to work with us in their future activities.”

MAY 2023

Social Betterment Books Get Distributed to Officials in The Gambia!

Fabakary Sanneh is on a mission to help his country with arts and social betterment. Since connecting up to Barbara Cordova, the Founder of Artists for a Better World, he has received hundreds of books to help him with his mission. He has taken on the task of wide distribution of materials to educate his people on drugs, immoral activities and human rights violations that will help his people to live better lives and influence youth in a positive direction.

“Dear President of AFABW,

I am glad to tell you that I have meetings with heads of government institutions and Non-Governmental Officials in the region. I presented them with copies of the social betterment books. They embrace the idea and want the society to be served and sensitive about these very important issues. Doing the “Get high on Art say no to drugs” program and The Way to Happiness and Human Rights are very key in our society and can improve lives and livelihoods. The communities’ Elders and school administrators, through their directors and parents want us to be there to create and teach the masses, especially children.”

“Today we distributed 22 booklets each of The Way To Happiness, Human rights and The Truth About Drugs to Government senior administrators. This is the technical advisory committee (TAC) that comprises all the heads of government institutions and non-government institutions operating within the region. I briefed them about the programs and how I am going to reach schools and communities. The Regional Governor is the chairman of this committee and chief executive officer at the area council is the Vice Chairman. They are very impressed and want to work with me in their respective institutions and organizations.”

FRCSI (Fabakary Rural Support Initiative)

The list of TAC who got the books:

* Governor’s office
* Community development
* Red Cross YOUTH and sports office
* National Environment Agriculture Forestry
* Health Regional education
* Livestock Girls GUIDE
* Scouts Water resources
* Catholic organization
* Office of Food safety and quality control
* Fisheries Government office
* Area council Physical Planning office
* Social development office
* Social welfare Child protection office
* Regional Women’s bureau
* Regional Disaster office
* Regional Police
* Regional immigration
* Regional fire and rescue
* Custom and exercise dept
* NGO affairs
* Freedom for hunger campaign
* Roots office
* Drugs law enforcement agencies
* Office of Regional intelligence
* Office of Regional population
* Office of Community health
* Nurses Rural development institute

APRIL 2023

The Gambia embraces “The Way to Happiness”

Fabakary’s connection to AFABW led him to The Way to Happiness, another social betterment program that the group supports. This common-sense guide to better living is something he now uses to educate his students. He has shown his students many of the videos of the precepts on their web site https://www.thewaytohappiness.org/

Then later at an AFABW zoom meeting Fabakary met member Debbie Arambula, The Heart Artist, who uses The Way to Happiness in her Spread the Love Campaign. When she heard how Fabakary helps the youth in his area with art and social betterment, she had the idea to include him in her campaign. And this worked out perfectly as the Florida Chapter was doing their World Art Day celebration on April 15th with the theme being Unity Through Creativity at Ybor Square at the Church of Scientology Tampa. Though too many miles away to attend, she got Fabakary to involve his kids via zoom on the morning of the event!

Meanwhile Fabakary had received a shipment of hundreds of The Way to Happiness books which was perfect timing. Debbie has made it her mission to use her art to inspire communities nationwide to be creative and uses Precept 20 in The Way to Happiness, “Try to Treat Others As You would Want Them to Treat You.” She goes over the precept and gets kids to participate by recalling examples of when they were treated kindly, and to share that memory. She guides them to choose colors that express the feeling of happiness in the memory. And directs them in creating pieces of art.

Debbie was there at the Court Yard at Ybor Square in the morning, along with Fabakary and around forty kids in The Gambia, connected on zoom. They had a banner of The Way to Happiness up, along with paper and crayons ready to Spread the Love through art! They thoroughly enjoyed this creative experience!

Feedback:

“The celebration was very special to us. We are grateful to be working with renowned Artist Debbie Marie Arambula and taking part in her Spread the Love campaign. It exposed us to the global arena and at the same time improve our skills. It was very good to learn and enhance our abilities in the Arts. We can see that the best way to improve lives for the community and poor children in The Gambia is through the Arts and other areas of intervention of my foundation.” Fabakary Sanneh FRCSI (Fabakary Rural Support Initiative)

Fabakary has now given out hundreds of The Way to Happiness books in his area, and educated kids on the precepts through the books and video showings.

To top things off he and his kids took part in our AFABW virtual World Art Day Gallery celebration on May 7th, where their art work is permanently posted under the banner of Unity Through Creativity. Fabakary also wrote a special poem for the occasion.

MARCH 2023

“Get High on Art, Say no to Drugs” reaches the community!

In 2022 Fabakary Sanneh reached out to AFABW President Barbara Cordova as he was interested in arts activities. He also wrote about the drug situation and abuse in The Gambia. She then got him actively doing the Get High on Art Say no to Drugs program on a regular basis with youth in the area, and it has grown markedly. He gets kids to do drawings to depict the message. “What is your vision of a better world where creation is encouraged and drugs are discouraged?”

Fabakary has been leading his kids and gets them to say “Get High on Art, Say no to Drugs” and they repeat after him, or just says “Say no to?” and they say “Drugs”

Barbara also reached out to The Foundation for a Drug Free World and they sent 600 Truth about Drugs books to him, along with educator kits. He soon ran out and had a need for more, so another 1000 were delivered to meet the big demands for the books.

In February in The Gambia there were Independence Day celebrations. Fabakary launched the Get High on Art program and Drug Free World books at an event to the regional stakeholders and communities. There was even a segment from his event on National TV news.

As can be seen below this program is having positive effects wherever Fabakary takes it!

Successes from Fabakary:

“We have distributed 500 COPIES to the schools and communities. The demand is far more than what we have and we will be sending updates on all we do. We will even supply other regions with 100 COPIES to a very big drug network too.

We did film showings at 15 places and the parents were very impressed and told us to continue because it helps in advising their children, thus reducing crime rates, rape cases and confusion among peers. Thanks for your support! We can change lives for the better and cause young people to stop the drugs abuse!”

“We are very glad to inform you that the FRCSI in alliance with AFABW has had many successes in our intervention and proactive moves to cover the communities and schools as well. The Government Ministry of Education through their regional director has improved our interventions to all the senior and upper and junior schools in the lower region. We started the film showings and other outreach on your information, sharing the truth about drugs and arts promotions. This positive intervention makes children more focused on education and art-work. The crime rate and other negative social activities are now reduced thanks to working with AFABW.”

“Thanks for the support, the Kids on Arts program is growing because I covered fifteen schools and more than three thousand children are interested in Arts and they want to see their children say no to drug abuse and positively engage on creative Arts and education for better lives.”

“Kids don’t want to association with other kids that even just smoke cigarettes as they know it’s a stepping stone to other drugs such as pot and then harder drugs.”

FEBRUARY 2023

AFABW Donates Funds to The Gambia so They Can Get Arts Programs to Areas with No Power!

“Dear President of AFABW,

The warmest greetings from our foundation to the Artists for A Better World and its members and followers. Our society was very vulnerable to drug abuse and has created drastic hindrance to the life of the community. Drugs make our youth into: criminals, insane, murderers, useless, idle and end up in prisons. The most common drugs at the community are CANNIBIS, MARIJUANA, ALCOHOL, COCCAINE to name a few.

After connecting up with you, we started the project in the Gambia with Get High On Arts and SAY NO TO DRUGS awareness campaign at the communities in the rural areas in The Gambia. We do community outreach and talks with young people, women, and the community at large. The sensitization is creating massive awareness and gradually changing the mindset of the people, especially our youth. Thanks to starting with the positive engagement with AFABW our children and communities are gradually changing and embracing the initiative for a better life. We want to reach more than 25,000 people in the next three months if we have the necessary materials to help us.

The foundation needs generators to use our projector for more outreach and visibility in our activities. (There are areas with no power)

We really appreciated the encouragement and technical backup and will keep engaging with positive initiatives to create impact in the younger generation and the world as a whole. We will make sure that with this, we promote Arts as a way of creativity and positive engagement of young people to do away with Drugs and focus on a better life. The Kids said No To Drugs and engage in Arts.

Kids don’t want to associate with other kids that even just smoke cigarettes as they know it’s a stepping-stone to other drugs such as pot and then harder drugs.

Thank you for your help on our mutual purpose.”

Fabakary Sanneh
President of Rural Community Support.

Barbara got AFABW members to answer the call to raise money for the Generator, and Fabakary got his wish, and funds were sent to him to purchase one so he could reach out and educate more kids in areas with no power.

“We are very grateful and thank AFABW for the wonderful support to have the generator and stabilizer. This massively increases the learning and awareness campaign for our kids learning and community outreach. We will have activities both at schools and community and kids will work on art creations and Get High on Art Day no to Drug campaigns. It will give meaningful engagement for the children.”

Fabakary Sanneh

AUGUST 2022

AFABW goes to The Gambia!

Here is how it all started – AFABW Founder Barbara Cordova got a reach on Facebook from Fabakary Sanneh,

“Dear Barbara,

My name is Fabakary Sanneh from the Gambia West. I am the President/Founder of Fabakary Rural Community Support Initiative, and Youth and Sports Coordinator Mansakonko Lower River Region The Gambia West Africa.
It gives me great pleasure to send an email to your organization for the first time. First of all I sincerely thank your efforts and what you are doing in the world to help through the Arts. I was following your Facebook page that shows the tremendous work you are doing and I appreciate it, and am impressed and want to work with you.

This foundation I’m in is a personal Initiative that intervenes directly to the beneficiaries of those in need. I came up with this foundation because I volunteered for years working with the government and see the bureaucratic system is not helping the poor and needy before getting their share is normally finished. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, and that’s is not Fair.

These are the activities I do to help youth and children in the rural Gambia:
*Training on entrepreneurship
*Summer Camp
*Child creative Day
*Child Rights and protection
*Drug sensitisation and educative session
*Youth conferences and festivals
*Community fun Day
*Women’s awareness session
*Social drama, competitions
*Sports events like chess, football, volleyball, running and marathons
*Youth and children cultural acts and Drawing

In 2017 in UPPER RIVER REGION I started my Initiative called Fabakary Rural Community Support Initiative with the slogan “let’s reduce the normal bureaucracy and get to those in need to achieve the results in a quest to create impacts in the long run”

I created my social media account on Facebook and started Post on my interventions areas to look for partners and sponsors both individuals or groups

What we need is resources like books for kids, Art projects to train the kids and to promote AFABW in the Gambia. I am very happy to connect with you and work around this project of promoting child welfare, and drug education.”

The first thing Barbara did was let him know about a Human Rights arts contest for kids that AFABW is helping to sponsor, and right away the kids started drawing their concepts of Peace and a better world. Then she got him to order Truth About Drugs books online and sent info about the Get High on Art, Say no to Drugs project. Several of the kids were asked to do drawings depicting their vision of a better world where creation is encouraged and drugs are discouraged!

“I have hundreds of youth and children and very soon we will start school sensitization on Say No to Drugs. Some watched the video (Drug Education) and they learned a lot, and their reaction was that crime rates increase as a result of drug influence and other bad behavior of young people. We are planning to organize a special event for this program and to invite State TV and Radio to cover it. Our society is badly influenced by the use of drugs. This campaign is good and we need support to stand firm and expand it. Thank you!”

Fabakary Sanneh