Support Sama

Sama, a deaf boy in my village, quickly stole my heart. Nearly every day, he comes to the library to visit me and flip through the books. He tries to communicate through gestures, often draws me pictures and is always the first kid to run up to me waving and smiling when he sees me around the village.

I would love more than anything to give him a chance at a future other than gathering wood. Please help me send him to the deaf school so he can get an education.

To donate, click here and make your payment through GambiaRising.

Read more about his story below.

Sama Drammeh

At first glance, Sama is just like all the other students in his fourth grade class at Sibanor Lower Basic School. He sits attentively at the front of the room, copying everything his teacher writes on the board into his exercise book. When he’s finished, he eagerly shows his work to his teacher so it can be checked.

But Sama isn’t like all the other students in class. He is deaf. And the words he copies in his notebook have little meaning to the boy who can’t hear the teacher’s explanation.

Sama’s desire to learn is obvious. He tries to participate in class, although he barely understands and cannot speak, and he spends a lot of his free time browsing picture books in the library. But his best efforts can’t make up for teachers who aren’t trained to cater to his special needs.

Sama would have a chance at a better future if he attended St. John’s Basic Cycle School for the Deaf, the only institution of its kind in The Gambia – a school nearly 100 kilometers away from his home.

Sama’s parents have wanted to send him to the deaf school, but don’t have the financial means to pay for transportation costs or accomodations with a family close to the school. So, Sama attends the local school where he is passed from grade to grade despite his inability to understand the material.

“I could send my son to the bush to help his father make charcoal or keep him home to help me around the compound,” his mother said in her local language of Mandinka. “But I send him to school every day, hoping he will learn even if he can’t hear and is only looking at the board. His father and I did not have the chance to be educated, and we would do anything to give our children that opportunity.”

To donate, click here and make your payment through GambiaRising.

–JDF