THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF STICHTING CARE FOR NATURAL IS TO SUPPORT THE IDEAS, THE WORK AND ACTIVITIES OF THE GAMBIA-BASED TRAINING CENTER Care for Natural African Beauty Foundation WITH FINANCIAL, PRACTICAL, NETWORKING AND TECHNICAL RESOURCES.
For 10 years Stichting Care for Natural has supported some hectares of eco forest where we protected the diversity of the vegetation and protect habitat for monkeys, insects, creepy crawlies, rodents, snakes and other small animals. It’s due to circumstances no longer under our supervision. A training center where local natural products such as fruits, herbs and nuts are processed into finished products. Based on these natural resources products like jams, juices, peanut pastes and rich oils are being produced. In the training center women learn how to preserve natural products in various ways. This teaches them among others how to produce oils. The oils together with beeswax, form the base for medicinal ointments. Stichting Care for Natural also created an Aloe vera plantation. From the Aloe vera plant drinks and skin-care products are being manufactured. In our Aloe Vera Burn Treatment Centre for Children in Mariamakunda, babies and children with first, second and third degree burns are treated very successfully, free of charge. Complicated cases where medical assistance is needed are referred to the hospital, such as those that inhaled smoke during the burn accident or that have other complications which need to be stabilized. We are presently in the process of establishing a hectare of Cajanus Cajan, a perennial bean tree that could be of great support for food security.
We wish to expand our present beekeeping of 25 hives to a 100 hives in 2023. Our honey is of a unique quality due to the small forest we have created for them, the Aloe Vera and Moringa Oleifera blossoms and soon the 1250 bean trees which serve the bees greatly.
Knowledge into practice
These initiatives and the daily local supervision create jobs for women in The Gambia, most of who have never been to school. Care for Natural teaches these women on the job all they need to know how to make nutritious food in a hygienic manner. This is being done under the watchful eye and continued guidance from our Dutch founder Claudette Sarr-Krook, who has lived in The Gambia since 1994 continuously.
We consider it of utmost important to make the people we work with and those within our reach, that respecting nature is a necessity. We try to find ways, with them, to fulfill their needs, help them with their practical problems in search of finding better ways to manage their environment. Change comes slowly but we are persistent.
For Westerners it is often difficult to understand how superstition and taboos make the lives of the women in The Gambia unnecessarily difficult and full of fears. We try to discuss some of them, try to shed light on issues and try to diminish harmful superstitions. Also, some very oppressive taboos are openly discussed. For this purpose we have a beautiful Umbrella hut, a gathering place with cooling fans and tiled benches. In general the attendance is remarkable.