Yate Genieri Link
When a group of sixth formers returned to Yate after a visit to The Gambia in 1986 they decided to form a friendship Link with a village in the country's interior.
For the past 20 years the community of Yate and that of Genieri have been linked via the Yate-Genieri Link.
During that time the organisation has gained charitable status and is responsible for setting up and funding a number of well established projects to improve the lives of the people of the village. The longest running of these has been the funding of a Day Care Centre, attended by pre-school children, where they are taught by a qualified teacher, Foday Dampha, and an assistant.
The Link funds three new wells
All the other projects the Link undertakes in Genieri will eventually become self-sustaining and it was with this in mind that, in 1999, the organisation funded the sinking of three new wells a short distance from the village.
These wells are in a fertile area, larger than a football pitch which was fenced and a set of vegetable allotments established at a cost of approximately £3,500. The allotments are organised and tended by the women of the village, the aim being to help supplement the diet of the village.
Women's Garden Project
Since then, the Women's Garden project has been extended and has become so productive that the Link commissioned the building of a market stall where vegetables could be sold to travellers on the road through Genieri and to other villages.
Even so, the maintenance of the garden is an ongoing commitment as the fence is vulnerable to attack from animals. With that in mind the Link's has recently employed a caretaker to guard it.
Health Care in Genieri
The Link has always kept the village's Primary Health Care Centre stocked with supplies of simple medicines and, in an extension of this work, bought bednets for the entire village in a bid to eradicate malaria. Maintenance and renewal of the bednets is an annual commitment.
In 2006 the volunteer who mans the Centre was appointed on a salaried basis and given a bicycle to speed up his rounds!
Restarting Genieri's Fishing Trade
By supplying a small fleet of some simple boats (one of them bought by Yate's German twin town - Bad Salzdetfurth), the Link was able to restart the village's dormant fishing trade and by supplying beehives and beekeepers equipment, start honey and bees' wax production.
Fundraising for the the Link is by events such as Safari Suppers, an annual Barbecue and a cake stall at Yate's Christmas Festival or the Sodbury Victorian Christmas Fair. ‘A Hundred Club’ produces sufficient funds to pay the wages of the Day Care Centre Teacher, his assistant and a caretaker. A number of local Primary Schools along with Culverhill School contribute their Harvest Festival collections to specific projects.
The Link will be pleased to send invitations to anyone who would like to participate in these events. To find out more and to become a member of the Link, please ring 01454 880541.
Map showing Yate and Genieri
You can use the map below to see where Genieri is in relation to Yate. You can zoom in, out and move around the map by using the controls on the left of the map.
Try zooming in to get a close birdseye view of Genieri.
View Yate - Genieri Link in a larger map