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A message from Sare Hamadi

Ein Mann steht neben seinen Schafen.
As well as his father’s cattle, Mohammed S. has also bought some sheep.

A message from Sare Hamadi

My name is Mohammed and I came back to my home country of Gambia a few months ago.
Now that I’m back home again, my day starts with me getting up as the sun rises and going into the cow shed, where I milk the cows. Some of the milk is for my family, but I take the rest to the small shop in our farmyard that I opened after I came back, where I sell fresh milk every day. Then I sit down to update the books, where I document our income. 

My parents used to raise cattle, horses and sheep here in our home town of Sare Hamadi, and even as a child and a younger man I used to help out with the work on our farm. It became more and more difficult to earn a living that way though, so I emigrated to Europe in 2015. But last year I came back home, because I realised that my proper place is here with my wife and my four children. Unlike before, this time I’m optimistic about the future. I used my time in Germany to fully prepare for making a life for myself here.

Një burrë vendos gurë njëri mbi tjetrin për të ndërtuar mur.
Mohammed S. has made some improvements to his parents’ farm.

Commercial knowledge pays off

The training I had with a coach from Social Impact taught me how to run a business over the long term. He gave me some guidance and shared crucial knowledge about accounting and marketing. This knowledge is very important if you want to run an agricultural business and earn a living from it. I realise that now and I’m benefiting from it.

I was also able to make some valuable contacts when I was still in Germany, for example with Daouda Niang. He is director of the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, and delivers seminars on tourism at the University of the Gambia. He is well connected, so he can put me in touch with potential business partners. He has encouraged me with my plan to follow in my parents' footsteps and become a professional livestock breeder. 

Since I came back, I’ve also received financial assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) to help me start my business. These funds have enabled me to open my own shop. I’ve also been able to securely fence off our land and start fattening up my sheep. This has given our family even more space to get the balance right between our lives and our livestock.

Një burrë dhe një grua ndodhen përpara një shtëpie. Burri mban një fëmijë të vogël në krahë.
Mohammed S. with his wife and his nephew.

Involvement in the community

My father is too old to raise cattle now, so I’ve taken over his herds. But I’ve also bought extra lambs to fatten and raise for resale. I believe that animal husbandry is a way I can earn a reliable income in the long term. Herding cattle has been my people’s way of life for generations. It makes me proud to keep these traditions going. 

I’ve also been a member of the Village Development Committee since I came back. We’re committed to addressing the concerns of our fellow human beings and to protecting our habitat. Together with neighbouring communities, we’re currently working on a bushfire prevention and control campaign. All this means I'm very well connected in the village again. It was the right decision to come back. My family is by my side, my neighbours buy provisions from my shop, and everyone can benefit from the new knowledge that I have acquired.

This article is part of a series of articles. The previous article in the series can be found here.

As of: 02/2021

I’ve also been a member of the Village Development Committee since I came back.
Mohammed S.

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