Stories of our Farato Kids
Musa is our most accomplished student. At age 12, he started school less than 10 years ago when the charity began. Brilliant and hard working, he graduated from high school at 17. He was then admitted to the competitive University of the Gambia. In Spring of 2019, Musa will graduate from the School of Business Administration. He has taken professional courses to prepare himself for work as an accountant.
Musa's has gotten financial support from Future for Farato, loving support from his family, and devoted support from our manager, Biran Sallah.
He sets a wonderful example for the Farato kids who are preparing to graduate from high school.
Musa and Biran
This Farato girl has a difficult story. She suffered routine physical abuse at the hands of her father. Several years ago, she was hospitalized for a week. Biran called the police and her father was arrested.
Fortunately, the Gambia has strong laws against domestic violence. Biran took the girl into his household to protect her from further abuse.
Days later, the father was released from jail at the request of some elders. He has 4 wives and many children who would all be at risk without his support.
Our manager arranged for community speakers to address the village on domestic violence. The talk was well received, but days later, a man from another area beat up our manager. Some men don't want any interference on how they manage their families.
Future for Farato supports ongoing information programs about the evils of domestic violence.
Meet Sirah. Sirah’s mother died and her father didn’t have another wife to take care of the child. Since then, Sirah has become part of the Sallah family and the Farato “Swarm” of preschoolers. Biran's sister, Maram, is caring for Sirah. She
is bright, loves the library and is anxious to learn. She always has a book with her.
Sirah's mother’s family lives in Senegal and is interested in taking Sirah back there. If she returns to Senegal, then she will definitely not be in school. As it stands now, Sirah is planning to start school with her friends in Farato. Biran’s family is just hoping the family will let Brian’s sister keep her so she can get an education.
Biran’s sister, Maram is a loving woman who has no children of her own. We just hope the family continues to agree to let this promising little girl stay in Farato and go to school.
The story of Mamadou and his mother is not unusual. When his father died, his mother married the father's brother, as required by tradition. The step father lived in the country and wanted Mamadou, his siblings and his mother to move away from Farato. The mother refused because she knew if she moved away from Farato, her children would lose their educations
Trying to support her family on her own, the mother would go to the forest to harvest firewood. The work is arduous and she needed
help from her son. Mamadou was missing school and his grades fell. This is an excellent student who aspires to be a doctor.
Fortunately, Future for Farato was able to help the mother start a business near Farato.
Mamadou has been awarded a computer to help him in his studies.
Walking home from school one afternoon, this 15 year old girl was dragged into an empty storefront and raped. Biran took her to the hospital for treatment.
Our manager got his policemen friends to track the rapist down. He was arrested, convicted of rape, and sentenced to more than three years.
Meanwhile, our student is surrounded by the love of her family and community. She prefers not to talk about the rape but is slowly returning to her old self.
Future for Farato sponsors community leaders to visit the village and address the issues of domestic and sexual violence.
The family of our Executive Director, Biran Sallah, has also experienced tragedy.
In 2016, Biran lost his brother to an unknown fate in Libya. Sulayman had been looking for work and was kidnapped by rebels in Mali. He and others were then sold to rebels in Libya. Libya is a lawless no mans land and sub Saharan Africans are in danger. The family hadn't heard from him for almost a year. Everyone feared the worst. His fifth child was born months after his disappearance.
On our last night in 2017, Biran received a text from an airport official informing him that his brother was at the airport! Sulayman had been imprisoned in Libya for a year. He had survived on one small plate of spaghetti per day. He was deported and transported home by the UN. He is now reunited with his jubilant family and community in Farato.
This is a picture of Sulayman, his wife, 5 children and extended family. This was his first morning home.
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Bubacarr is a brilliant and endearing high school student with a challenging family situation. His father is among the army of West Africans desperate for work. Three years ago, his father left for Libya with the dream of making it to Italy.
Libya is a death trap for SubSaharan Africans. Buba’s family hasn’t heard from his father since he left.
In his absence Buba's mother has was struggling to keep the family afloat on her own. She walked to the forest each day in search of wood to sell for cooking fires. The forest is not close and the work is exhausting. The oldest brother of four children, Buba uses the cart and donkey that their father left and looks for work transporting things. All work is scarce.
Buba’s family was hungry. Given the stress, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with work and school. He was missing school and his grades were falling. He also became ill and required help from the traditional healer.
Since then, the charity helped the mother start a business and supplied the family with enough rice to feed everyone until she realizes profits. Bubacarr is better and back in school.