Gambian Association of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing


Our desperate need for communication, natural interaction, and access to information about our society; linked to the need to take collective action on our own behalf to bring about attitudinal changes and to build a new society that guarantees equal opportunities for all its members regardless of their functional disabilities, led us to unite voluntarily and form The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing  - GADHOH


GADHOH is a registered charitable Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has a memorandum of understanding with the NGO Affairs Agency. It was established by a small group of deaf people with the assistance of other organizations, including Saint John’s School for the Deaf, and some parents of deaf children. Originally formed in 1992 the organization became a member of the World Federation of the deaf in 1994.


The establishment of an administrative centre, in rented accommodation, in June 1999 was sponsored by organizations for deaf people from Sweden. This enabled GADHOH to become an employer and to be more effective with its staff team.


Organisation - The Organisational Structure of GADHOH can be found on this link


GADHOH developed a constitution and a range of policies and has a Board elected annually by the organisation’s membership. There are also volunteer committees, made up of members at the branches at Banjul, Barra, Brikama Faraffeni and Soma. A similar arrangement will operate when branches are opened elsewhere in the country. The Association is managed by the Executive Director, Dodou Loum. He is assisted by a Deputy Director, Lamin Ceesay and a Director of the Female Wing, Isatou Sanyang. The Association currently employs 23 people of whom, 9 are hearing people (interpreters, Secretary etc.). There are also three trainee interpreters, one trainee teacher and six VSO volunteers including three from Uganda who are working on the VSO disability programme (financed by the Big Lottery including individual expenses).


The Association has a permanent National Headquarters, and will soon be moving in to a new, purpose built premises. The HQ is well suited to support work with size of the deaf community in The Gambia and has a range of basic equipment and materials for this work and serves as the administration centre, for meetings and training activities. The Association has a number of full-time staff, as well as an active band of volunteer workers, especially in the branches, all serving the needs of the members (a team of sign language teachers; the team of sign language interpreters; training for new members of both those teams; the VSO volunteers, materials production, employment service for deaf people etc,).


In 2008 a new National Headquarters will be officially opened.


We have a vehicle in support of our central operations and at our Female Wing, a skill training centre for deaf women; a nursery school for pre-school deaf children and a nursery group at Brikama (children in The Gambia usually start school when they are 6/7 years). Arising from its skill training the Female Wing also operates a hairdressing salon and has a market stall in Lamin Village.


The authorities within The Gambia, at both national and regional level, recognise GADHOH as the organisation for deaf people in the country. The Association is a registered NGO charity and is a member of the NGO umbrella organisation TANGO as well as the DPOs umbrella organisation, the Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD); in fact GADHOH was the third organisation to join the GFD following the Visually Impaired and the Physically Disabled Associations. There are excellent relationships with Governmental and other service providers, as well as with international and multi-national organisations and we are a member of the World Federation of the Deaf.


Annual General Meetings have been held for its members each year since 1999. Special interest groups have been formed as component parts of GADHOH and are actively contributing to the Association’s goals and objectives;

   The Female Wing

   The Youth Wing

   The Sports and Recreational Group which led to the founding of The Gambia Deaf Sports Association (Aims/Activities/Associations)

   The Children’s Affairs Group


Membership has grown, especially with the institution of the regional branch structure, to around 1,000 members.

Interested in becoming a member? Click on this link for a membership application form.






Nicolas Kajubi


Very dynamic & pro-active branch committee. Use Deaf club meeting to inform members what the branch can do for them


Ousman Jallow


The Chief of NB Division has given the branch the use of his compound for meetings and also a kind donation.

Outreach work to commence soon


Karamo Sanyang


Now running their own branch sign language classes and nursery school with Ousman Saidy & Karamo Sanyang


Modou Ceesay


Doing outreach work in the surrounding villages


Mrs.Naba Dampha


!5 deaf children are attending Soma Basic School with Mr. Wandifa Kinteh




Batchi Kanded -

Not yet a constituted Branch






GADHOH’s current objectives and themes are as follows;


  1. A three-year strategic plan for 2008 – 2010    (Click on these links  - 2008 - 2009 - 2010)
  2. The Gambia Federation Of Disabled People (GFD) constitution, along with other members of the GFD executive.
  3. Funding letters seeking financial support for its teachers, since discovering that the new GOVI nursery school for blind children has its teachers’ salaries paid by the Department of State for Basic Education
  4. VSO initiative – The VSO Gambia have made a successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund (UK) and have been given £496,620 for a three-year project to work with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s). The objectives of the programme are:

·        Increase access of people with disabilities in The Gambia to quality services, enabling them to fulfill their basic needs & rights

·        Enable people with disabilities to participate more actively in all aspects of family & community life in The Gambia

·        Develop a more inclusive & supportive environment for people with disabilities in The Gambia, through the implementation of a National Disability Policy & the development of a strong co-ordinated disability movement which can represent the rights of people with disabilities in The Gambia.


Amongst the various activities are:

             i.          Capacity building with all the DPO’s and service development.

             ii.          Re-establish, regenerate and re-invigorate The Gambia Federation of Disabled People (GFD) originally founded in 1991 with GADHOH as a founding member, which has become moribund due to lack of finances and support.

            iii.          With GADHOH to;

              a)   Strengthen its regional branches across the country

              b)   Support the development of the Gambian Sign language

              c)   Extend the sign interpretation service

            iv.          To develop RSOD, Rural Support of the Disabled (which is not a disabled peoples organisation but facilitates work for the DPOs) in its work in the rural areas and help the organization to serve as a focal point for all DPOs in the Central River & Upper River Divisions. GADHOH is already making partnership plans to support deaf people in these up-country areas

             v.          Special schools including Saint John’s will have VSO Volunteers working with them.

            vi.          In all there will be an in-country programme manager, a Gambian lady, Ndella Faye-Colley, and a project support officer along with 14 VSO volunteers working on the programme, including some from Uganda. The new in-country director is also a Gambian lady,  Haddijatou Lamin-Njie.



  1. Decade of Disabled People - The Gambia has recently joined the African Decade of Disabled People (1999 – 2009). The Decade’s objectives are very       similar to those of the VSO programme and they look likely to work co-operatively towards a better future for disabled people in The Gambia.
  2.  UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  3.  Branch logos – These are all Adinkra Symbols & Meanings and can be seen on this link:  West African Wisdom Symbols          


















Patience & tolerance













Woforo Dua Pa A



Support & co-operation





Akoma Ntoso



Understanding & agreement 




Boa Me Na Me Mmoa Wo



Co-operation & interdependence



New Branch (1 )


Me Ware Wo



Commitment & perseverance



New Branch (2 )


Ese Ne Tekrema



Friendship & interdependence



New Headquaters & Female Wing

We are Here - West Coast of Africa - in The Gambia - at Kanifing - near the Independance Stadium


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