The Joss Stone Foundation
Joss visited Hart House in The Gambia in 2017. Hart House serves the local community with special support for disabled children and their families. They provide respite care Monday – Friday for up to 25 families and children. This includes transport and all food, education and health needs. This helps with child development as well as supporting all the families involved. Joss wanted the mothers of the children to have a safe space to meet and talk as there is considerable stigma around disabilities in the Gambia unfortunately and supporting all of the family as a whole is the best way Hart House can help.
The women’s groups were funded by The Joss Stone Foundation and commenced in February 2019. Transport, refreshments and child care are all provided so the mothers can talk together in their group. Due to covid the group had to be paused but is back on track to reopen July 2021. The group will soon be registered as a ‘self help’ organisation by one of the committee members who is keen to keep this initiative growing and helping. There are up to 25 women in the group and this may grow in time.
Hart House priorities moving forward include providing all care possible for these families in a safe, happy and healthy environment. Donations from the Joss Stone foundation have enabled Hart House to continue all of its work, run the women’s groups and provided extra funds to cover things like physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, preventative medicines and pediatrician checks for the children. The foundation has also paid for the roof of the building to be replaced, paid staff wages and provided microloans within the local community