THE GAMBIA PROJECT

The Gambia Project is the story of reuniting an immigrant father with his son and family, connecting with the brothers of an immigrant killed by the police, meeting artist activist Killa Ace, and visiting Kunta Kinteh Island in the hopes of better understanding the history of The Gambia, colonialism, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and modern day migration.

Mame's Prayer

Over the months of February and March 2020, we helped reunite Abdou Touray, a West African formerly-undocumented refugee and immigration activist living in Madrid, Spain, with his 7 year old son, Mame Touray, and his family in The Gambia after 6 years of horror, separation, and struggle.

Abdou ended up in Europe the hard way, and not by choice. While escaping the former dictator of The Gambia, over the course of 6 years, he survived the deadly Sahara desert, from kidnappings and forced labor and dodging terrorist insurgencies to nearly dying in the Mediterranean Sea – only to make it to Europe to bounce from country to country and from prison to the streets in search of asylum.

 

But Abdou endured. He never gave up. He studied and worked as many under-the-table jobs as he could. He organized with other African immigrants. And against all seeming odds, as Vice President of Sidicato de Manteros de Madrid, as a restaurant chef and a commercial model, and as an associate producer in Tactical Aesthetics, he finally got his Spanish residency papers this February and we flew from Spain to The Gambia to surprise his son Mame Touray.

Killa Ace

Praised as The Gambia's most outspoken rapper, Killa Ace uses his music to fuel social change and call out corrupt politicians. And because of this he has been persecuted for his music.

As the first artist to speak out against the dictatorship by encouraging Gambians to vote against the brutal regime of then President Yahya Jammeh through his 2016 release “Ku Boka C Geta G” (Wolof for “If You Are Part Of The Herd of Cows”), Killa Ace was forced to flee The Gambia and live in exile in Senegal.

More than just a rapper and recording artist, Ali Cham is an active human rights advocate and community youth organizer as both President of the Team Gom Sa Bopa movement and Acting Secretary General of The Gambia Music Union, where he continues to speak out against corruption in politics, police brutality, and sex tourism, while coordinating cultural art events to inspire younger Gambians to build a better Gambia.

Mame Mbaye's Brothers

We travel to Mbour, Senegal to meet the brothers of Mame Mbaye, the mantero killed by the police in Madrid, Spain in 2018.

On March 15th, 2018, Spanish police chased an undocumented immigrant named Mame Mbaye from the tourist-heavy Puerta del Sol in Madrid’s city center down several blocks to Lavapies, the immigrant neighborhood. While being pursued by these police officers, Mbaye had a heart attack and died in the open street. The scene of yet another young black man killed on the heels of the police deeply affected locals and led to a week-long social upheaval. 

Kunta Kinteh Island

The Point of No Return in The Gambian River during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Formerly called James Island and St Andrew’s Island, Kunta Kinteh Island presents a testimony to the main periods and facets of the encounter between Africa and Europe along the River Gambia, a continuum stretching from pre-colonial and pre-slavery times to independence. The site is particularly significant for its relation to the beginning of the slave trade and its abolition. It also documents early access to the interior of Africa.

The Kerr Ndongo Project

The community of Kerr Ndongo, near the border of Senegal in the North Division of The Gambia, comprises a network of 6 farming communities with a population of roughly 700, half of which are children.

Kerr Ndongo opened their community to us and Kerr Ndongo is one of our new homes. Here we plan to build a solar-powered shipping container clinic for women and children to facilitate childbirth, prevent malaria, and now the novel corona virus. This will be our first location to test our pilot project for a “clinic-in-a-box”. Clinics-in-Boxes are prefabricated shipping containers that unfold into fully equipped solar-powered pop-up clinics with medication, sanitary medical supplies, and the interior designed for urgent clinical care for remote communities located far away from medical facilities.

TOGETHER WE BUILD A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE KIDS TOGETHER WE BUILD A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE KIDS