A crowdfunding campaign is under way to help the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust complete the construction of an equine hospital.
The trust’s UK administrator Emma Meadmore said the centre was nearly built but another £20,000 was needed to finish the “ground-breaking” centre.
“The centre will be significant by educating and increasing the Gambian veterinary capacity and providing training opportunities for overseas vets so that they can provide the support that these animals and their owners in this coastal region of the Gambia are sadly lacking,” she said
“The equine hospital will provide stabling for 25 in-patients, offices, a visitor centre and a lecture room together with accommodation for volunteers, students and staff.”
Meadmore said contributions would help towards installing solar power, fencing and poles, glass for windows, stable fittings including mosquito netting, paint, rubber matting, sand, cement, hay to fill the barn, wages for local labour, plumbing and electrical installations, transport costs.
“Our biggest expense will be £10,000 that is needed to roof the new stable blocks,” she said.
The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust was set up in 2002 by two British sisters who were brought up in the Gambia, the late Stella Marsden and the charity’s director Heather Armstrong.
The black stallion pictured at the top of the page is Lazarus, who inspired the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. When Stella Marsden first found him, her first instinct was to put him out of his misery. Not only was he emaciated and too weak to stand but in his efforts he fallen onto a fire and badly burnt his leg. Stella left some food for him and went to find a vet to put him down.
It took her five days to find a vet in the Gambia and when she returned to the horse she found him standing and tottering around trying to graze. She was so amazed at his courage and fortitude that she bought him, knowing the road to health would be a long one. She called him Lazarus and on his back The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust was born. He is pictured below at the age of 17.