To commemorate its 25 Year Anniversary this winter (2012/13), specialist tour operator The Gambia Experience chose to donate funds and flights* to UK and Gambian-originating charitable and sustainable projects making a positive difference within The Gambia.
The Gambia Experience notified the winners of the total £25,000 funds allocation on Monday 14 January, a list of which can be viewed here and which includes UK and Gambian-based organisations. www.gambia.co.uk/25years-donations
The winners each submitted a short application form outlining their requirement for the donation which were considered in turn by a judging panel brought together by The Gambia Experience. Dick Sisman, sustainable tourism advisor acted as chair and was joined by The Gambia Experience staff, Chris Rowles, managing director; Katie Bushnell, sustainable tourism manager; and Joyce Stavroulakis, resort manager; as well as Derek Moore, chairman of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators).
Dick Sisman said:
“I was delighted to chair the judging panel and was heartened that The Gambia Experience received near 60 applications for the funds. The diversity of good works being undertaken by organisations and charities of all sizes in The Gambia is impressive. These range from projects to develop educational facilities; medical programmes; social and wellbeing projects for persons of all ages – not just children; and projects linked to the health and safety of humans and animals.
We would have liked to help all of the project proposals, but had to make a choice which we felt were representative of all aspects of life and topics in The Gambia. In the main these are projects which do not have other and larger sources of support and where we know that the money we can allocate will make a big difference in the development and delivery of good causes.”
The complimentary flight seats donation totalling £25,000 were selected at random during two draws; one of which took place in October 2012, the second of which took place on Monday 14 January alongside the allocation of the funds. The flight seats are aboard The Gambia Experience London Gatwick – Banjul (or reverse route) charter flight with Monarch. To see a summary of these winners see the same link www.gambia.co.uk/25years-donations
Accredited with the maximum rating of 5* Sustainable Tourism status by AITO, The Gambia Experience operates its own School Development Fund and collaborates on Carbon Offset Tree Planting and Alternative Fuel Stove schemes.