Welcome to the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust Website


Registered Charity No. 1096814

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What We Do


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How To Help


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All the Notices, Fundraisers and Appeals etc are currently ongoing, unless specified otherwise

Do you have a GHDT event or fundraiser that you would like listed on this page, and in the newsletter? If so, please contact Web Producer, Liz Serinken, with all the details!




The Spring 2024 Bi-Annual News Report is now available to read and/or download.

To access the Report please click HERE.



September 28th is World Rabies Day - can you help us to raise 5000 to save lives?

Rabies is a deadly yet preventable disease. Every day this dreadful disease claims the lives of both humans and animals in vulnerable communities around the world. Our team are faced with cases of rabies quite regularly - each and every one is both terrifying and heart breaking to see. The dogs who contract it suffer terribly as a result and having rabies cases nearby puts everyone in the area, animal and human, at risk.

The pain and suffering endured by those affected by rabies is immeasurable and it is within our power to make a meaningful difference.

We are seeking your support to help us to provide life-saving rabies vaccinations to dogs across The Gambia. Together we can transform fear into hope, despair into resilience and suffering into healing.

If you would like to make a donation to support our World Rabies Day campaign, you can do so through our dedicated JustGiving campaign page *HERE:

Thank you for your kind support



It can sometimes be difficult to understand the challenges we are faced with on an almost daily basis, especially if you have never visited The Gambia or anywhere similar. It is currently the middle of the rainy season in The Gambia - this means we have a lot of much needed rain, but it also brings storms too. Whilst we do desperately need the rain to help the grass and crops to grow, it also brings us extra challenges in trying to cope with the huge numbers of biting insects, increased numbers of staff contracting malaria and animals contracting insect-borne diseases and roads becoming impassable.

Last week we had an additional challenge - our house at Makasutu was struck by lightning. As well as being very frightening for the people and animals living on site, this caused considerable damage to our electricity system which we rely so heavily on. Aside from anything else, it is also yet another huge expense for us to get everything back up and running again. The power of the lightning strike was so great that it blew the plug sockets out of the walls of the house! We are just so thankful that no animals or humans were harmed, it could have been so much worse.

We are extremely grateful to SweGam, who provided our solar system, for their help in regaining some power and the kind offers of both financial and physical help that we have been offered in the wake of this. We try not to be constantly asking our supporters for money because we know that times are hard for everyone at the moment. With this additional unexpected expense at an already challenging time of year, we wondered if any of our supporters might be willing to hold a small fundraising stall or event for us? We would be so grateful for any additional fundraising efforts that people can offer to us this summer.

Local Fundraising

We believe that many hands make light work and for this reason, we are so utterly grateful to anyone who is able to do any local fundraising in aid of us. Perhaps you could spare a day to hold a charity car wash to raise much needed funds for us? Or have a plant sale, a bake sale or a local raffle? Or maybe you would consider doing a sponsored event for us if that's more your thing?

Please let us know if you have any fundraising events planned so that we can help you to advertise or provide you with leaflets about our work. No matter how big or small your fundraising help is, every penny really does help.

Thank you! We truly appreciate every little effort made to help with our fundraising.



Hickstead is over for us for another year and once again it was wonderful to meet so many of our supporters, put faces to names and meet some wonderful people, dogs and horses. We are so incredibly grateful to the Bunn family and their staff for their ongoing, kind support enabling us to have our charity stand at such prestigious equine events. Hickstead is a big event for us each year and one that we really love attending. Thank you so much to everyone who visited our stand and came to chat with us - we really love being able to be connected directly with so many wonderful supporters. We can't wait to see you all again next year!



On July 23rd we were alerted to a dog in desperate need of our help - most of the skin on her face was missing, across her nose you could see bone and when we were initially sent photos we were unsure as to whether her eyes were so damaged that they were no longer even there. The pain and suffering she must have been going through was unimaginable. The difficulty for our team was that she was more than four hours journey from our centre, with the owners having no way of transporting her to us. It was decided that one of our team would travel to her to assess - we were unsure whether euthanasia may be the only option but we wanted to check. She was bright and alert and it was felt that it may be possible to treat her, so she was brought back to our centre for treatment. We are still unsure as to the cause of her horrific wounds - it is possibly a bacterial or fungal infection but we do not know for sure. There was a possibility that it could be a form of cancer, but this is no longer believed to be the case.

Since being in our care for a week, she is making incredible progress and the healing we are seeing on a daily basis is amazing. It is a very tricky place to keep dressings on because of it being all across her face, but our team are never put off by a challenge and have done a great job so far. Kerewan is a very elderly dog - 13 years is a brilliant age for a Gambian dog and she has a kind, loving family. Whilst it is easy to judge and ask how she got into this state, we must remember that she was in a very remote part of the country with no access to veterinary care. It is just fortunate that her owners found out about us and were able to make contact with us - they went to great lengths to try to find care for their much-loved dog. When most of us can contact a vet with a quick phone call or trip in the car, it can sometimes be difficult to even imagine being in a situation where something happens to your beloved pet but you are completely helpless to do anything about it.

Thankfully her eyes are not as damaged as we first thought and the wound is healing really well so far. We are not out of the woods yet and she still has a good healing process ahead of her but we are quietly confident that we may be able to help this old girl to live out her days, safely back with her family, in comfort. Please help us in sending her healing thoughts so that she can be added to our list of GHDT miracle cases. A big thank you to all of our staff who work so hard to save the lives of animals in need.






The combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate shocks and conflicts such as the war in Ukraine are causing huge food shortages across West Africa which is having a devastating effect on both people and animals. The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) are a UK registered charity who have been working to improve equine welfare in The Gambia for the past 20 years and they are seeing first-hand the horrific impacts of the food shortages.

Heather Armstrong, Director of the charity said "It is becoming increasingly difficult to source enough food for the animals in our care. We are seeing an increase in the number of completely emaciated animals being brought to us for care, simply because their owners have been unable to source enough food for their animals. Often they are too far gone for us to be able to save which is heart-breaking for all involved." She went on to say "In the past couple of years, animal feed prices have increased three-fold or more in some cases. This is extremely difficult for us as a charity as it means our costs have risen dramatically, but it is even worse for Gambian equine owners who simply don't have enough money to pay for these continually increasing costs."

Many Gambian families rely on their working equines for their own livelihood, using them for farming or transport purposes. If their animal becomes malnourished and unable to work, then the family lose their ability to earn an income and a vicious cycle of poverty is created. The GHDT is now having to look further and further afield to source enough food to support the equines in their care, which currently include 62 donkeys and 12 horses, not to mention the 3 camels, 2 cows, 14 goats and 7 sheep who also require access to forage. In addition to the equines, the GHDT also care for more than 85 dogs and 40 cats in desperate need of help.

"It may become necessary for us to source additional feeds, such as sugar beet, from outside of The Gambia to enable us to keep the animals in our care alive and enable them to continue their healing journeys. We are fully aware that this is not sustainable and it is also extremely costly, which puts a huge amount of strain on a small charity like ourselves, but we have to take whatever steps we can to ensure the health and welfare of the animals we are responsible for" said Heather.

When forage is so limited, the charity also see an increase in the number of sand colic cases due to the sandy ground conditions and the equines searching for tiny scraps of forage on the floor. This brings additional welfare concerns as well as increased costs for treatments and nursing care at the charity.

The GHDT are appealing to anyone who may be able to help during this crisis for donations towards their feed costs, to enable them to continue saving the lives of equines desperately in need. If you are able to help, you can donate directly to the GHDT via our bank account:

Our bank details are:
Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust
Acc: 19505043
S/c: 60-11-17

Online donations can be given via Justgiving HERE or can be sent by post to Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, Brewery Arms Cottage, Stane Street, Ockley, Surrey. RH5 5TH

To view press release please click HERE.


Weekly Lottery


Your Chance to Win 25,000 whilst also helping us to improve the lives of animals!

For just 1 per week you could be in with a chance of winning 25,000, whilst also helping us to raise essential funds to continue our work. You will be allocated a unique six-digit lottery number, which remains yours for as long as you would like to continue playing. You can purchase multiple tickets if you would like to.

Winners have to match 3, 4 , 5 or all 6 of the winning numbers in the correct place in the sequence. Every Friday, the lucky winners are automatically sent their prizes. You must be over 16 years old to play.

Anyone who has a UK bank account can play the lottery

To visit our lottery page, please click HERE.

Or to go immediately to our online sign-up form, please follow this link HERE.

If you prefer to complete the form by hand and return it by post, please download the PDF sign-up form HERE.

The promoter of this Unity Lottery is Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, Brewery Arms Cottage, Stane Street, Ockley, Surrey, RH5 5TH

Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by Mole Valley District Council under account number 059813.

A minimum of 50% of the total lottery proceeds go to supporting the work carried out by Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, 18.4% on prizes and 31.6% on expenses and administration of the lottery.



Give a Car website

Do you have an old car that you no longer need or you need to send for scrap? Did you know that we are registered with the Give a Car scheme for charities? Scrapping your car couldn't be easier - GiveaCar do all the hard work for you. They will arrange free collection across the UK. Whether your car has suffered an MOT failure, been in an accident or you no longer need it their expert team can help. Turn your scrap car into a donation today and support you're the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. It's quick, easy and free.

For more information or to arrange collection of your car, please visit '*Give a Car' or call them on 02077 364 242 quoting Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust as your chosen charity.

Details are also available on the Give a Car poster. You can access it **in PDF Download Give a Car Poster in pdf or zip format



These commendable young men arrived at our centre with their beautifully looked after dogs, to have them vaccinated against rabies. The youngest young man and his dog, Sprite, both have such lovely smiles!

The staff were so impressed by the condition and handling of the dogs, that each dog was given a new collar to go home with. This gives us so much hope! Well done guys.



Food for thought If you are becoming depressed at the state of the world with the Covid pandemic, allow yourselves some time to dream and then when the time is right, make your dreams come true!

In the past we have put out calls for equine vets and mixed animal vets, but we are receiving an increasing number of requests, in the rural areas, for help with dogs and in particular, neutering. Since the beginning of Covid the number of unwanted puppies and kittens being born has risen alarmingly and with the shortage of food from fisheries and restaurants we are seeing an increasing number of animals suffering and in need. If we were able to help by carrying out neutering programmes on a regular basis, throughout the country, this would not only reduce puppy and kitten numbers but reduce the incidence of rabies as well.

Obviously at the moment it is hard to plan anything, but if you would like further details please email the GHDT Office.



We would like to remind our supporters that if you ever want to make a donation to our charity, you can do so either via a donate button on a post, or in any of the following ways:

  • ONLINE - Via Just Giving or via the 'Online Donations' page of our website

  • VIA FACEBOOK - Simply click on the 'DONATE' button and follow the instructions

  • VIA POST - Simply send us an old-fashioned cheque to our postal address

  • PAYPAL - ghdt@gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk

  • BANK - if you would like to pay by BACS our bank account is with NatWest Bank. 60-11-17 Account number 19505043

Please do not respond to people asking for donations into their private PayPal account.



If you would like to read the article, 'BEVA Trust Overseas Project: February 2020 The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust', it is available to read here in ** PDF BEVA Article in pdf



Lazarus Everyone at the GHDT is devastated to announce that the magnificent black stallion who founded our charity, Lazarus, was put to sleep this morning after being with us for almost seventeen years. He performed many roles at the GHDT, as a farm horse ploughing and pulling a cart, being a demonstration horse and teaching countless students, but most of all he inspired us constantly and showed us what is possible. A great many horses and donkeys owe their lives to him.

Laz was laid to rest this morning covered with a GHDT flag under the Tabo tree in front of the house with all the staff in attendance. Ironically in death, he achieved his life's dream to get into the mare's yard!

Rest in peace you gorgeous boy, you will be missed more than you ever thought possible.

We would like the give our thanks to Alex Raftery and Lauren Gummery, two vets from the University of Glasgow who attended to him during his last illness.

For more information on Lazarus's story please click HERE.



Why not celebrate Friendship all year round with a Friendship Pack! For just 20 you and your friend will receive a Friendship certificate as well as a Friendship bracelet. Celebrate your special friendship  and support the work of The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust!

Details are available on the Friendship Pack poster in ** PDF Download International Friendship Day Poster in pdf

Please download and complete the Friendship Donation Form Available here in ** PDF Download International Friendship Day Donation Form in pdf



Anyone who has been to The Gambia, and may be looking for ethically sourced quality Gambian gifts, may be interested in looking at ethically-sourced products from Gambian businesses at MadeinGambia220.



New Data Protection Rules come into affect on May 25th, 2018. Please read and return the GHDT release form, available HERE, if you wish to continue receiving the Bi Annual News Bulletin and updates from the GHDT office.

Please note, this will NOT affect current or future E-News members who have requested, by email, to receive GHDT E-News to their inbox. Thank you.



We are very pleased to report that our X-Ray machine is now working. This fabulous gift, donated by BCF Technology to Vets with Horsepower, is at last fulfilling its purpose. We were unable to use it initially as we needed the right person with appropriate knowledge to set it up.

Our thanks go to Karen Pickering and Markus Wilke, two vets sponsored by the BEVA Trust, who visited us in February and were able to set it up for us. It is now fully operational and they even provided basic training for our staff on its use. A few of our patients have already benefited from it.

Now that we have our X-Ray machine running, we need to have more lead Aprons and radiological protection equipment. If anyone knows of a practice closing down, or upgrading their equipment, we would love to recycle their old equipment for them providing it is still safe to use. Please contact us at the GHDT Office.



X-Ray student
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X-Ray of foot
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Nigel Havers
Nigel Havers

John Humphrys
John Humphrys

Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch


We are absolutely delighted to announce that three very well known and well respected people have endorsed our work and agreed to be our patron and supporters.

Nigel Havers has very kindly agreed to be our Patron and said, "It is a privilege to be able to call myself a patron of this charity which from its very grass roots literally saves lives and benefits both human and animal lives in such a holistic way. The rest of the world take note! Nigel Havers.” We are very grateful to him for his patronage.

John Humphrys has also endorsed and supports our work, and we are extremely proud that he approves of our approach of "helping people to help themselves" It means a great deal to us to have such support.

Canadian children’s author, Robert Munsch, has also endorsed and supported our work, donating a signed copy of one of his books for a fundraiser.

We would like to give them all our very sincere thanks.



Give someone a special gift and sponsor a horse or donkey at GHDT and help improve the lives of the horses and donkeys of the Gambia.

For details please see our Sponsor a Horse or Donkey page here.




Are there any dentists around who would like a challenge? We always have a lot of exciting tooth problems to show anyone who is interested! For more information please Contact Us.

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Charity Choice The GHDT is now working with Charity Choice. Charity Choice is a place where charities, donors, volunteers and fundraisers can come together to help the many charities in the UK in a variety of ways. Through Charity Choice you can choose how you give and which charity you give to. They provide information on over 160,000 registered charities. This includes all charities registered in England and Wales.

So, whether you are looking to donate to the GHDT, volunteer your time or specialist skills, give your unwanted goods or leave a gift in your will, you are in the right place!

The Charity Choice donate facility is completely free for the GHDT to use, so what is donated the GHDT receives.

If you would like to show your support by making a donation, please click *HERE.



Sometimes it is nice to know that you have purchased something in particular for a charity, so we have set up an Amazon Wish List of essential items that we need at the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. If you are able to purchase any of the items on our list, we would be extremely grateful. These are all items that we are unable to purchase in The Gambia, so must be bought in the UK and shipped out.

To have a look at the GHDT Wish List, please click *HERE!

Thank you very much!



Many thanks to the people who have sent us reflective jackets, they have been a great help. They are always in high demand in Gambia and we are always grateful to receive more.

We campaign to encourage all horse and donkey drivers to wear reflective jackets at night and to put reflectors on their carts to try and reduce the alarming accident rate for night time drivers. The uptake has been incredible and we are fast running out of reflective jackets. If you know of any companies, councils, airports, police forces, fire brigades, Rotarians who use them and who may be getting rid of their old ones, please could you tell them that we can give them a very good and useful home. Alternatively you may be able to put a notice in your local parish or community magazine for us. Such a simple thing, but it really does save lives.



For anyone wanting to go on an extra special riding holiday in Africa, we can highly recommend *Mozambique Horse Safari. Mandy and Pat go above and beyond the call of duty for their horses. To read a Guardian article about Mozambique Horse Safari, click *here.



We have teamed up with Justgiving.com, the UK’s leading online fundraising website, so you can donate and raise funds for the GHDT online.

Using Justgiving saves us costs and reduces our admin burden, so going online is by far the most efficient way of supporting us. It’s easy to make a single or monthly donation with a credit or debit card online:

All you need to do is click here.

Justgiving reclaims Gift Aid automatically and pays your donation directly to us at the end of every week, and the site is secure.

Justgiving also makes it easy to raise money: you can create an online fundraising page in minutes to collect donations for any sponsored event or appeal.

You can create your own for any event here.

Fundraising pages are just like paper sponsorship forms, except they’re online. Simply personalise your page with a photo and message and email the web address to all your contacts. Friends, family, work colleagues and anyone else, from anywhere in the world, can then make a donation using your page.

You can create a fundraising page for absolutely anything. You could get sponsored to run, swim, cycle, get fit, grow a moustache or have your head shaved. The only limit is your imagination.

If you have any questions, or need any help, you can contact the Justgiving helpdesk on 0845 021 2110 or email Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

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If you would like to apply to join the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust E-News Mailing List for immediate news updates, please submit your name and email address to Liz Serinken.
*** Please note, the E-News updates mailing list is in addition to the hard copy News Reports. The hard copy News Report only comes out twice a year, but with the E-News updates mailing list, members receive ongoing updates as news is added to the website, so it's a great way to stay informed.

This is an announcements only list, so you will not be inundated with emails.

There is no fee to join the E-News updates email group and the details you provide will not be passed on to a third party. Since this is an Opt-In group, members do not need to fill in the Data Protection Form.

If you have any questions, or if you're not sure if you're already a member, please contact Liz Serinken for help.



The GHDT is now fundraising with eBay for Charity - visit our 'About My Charity' *Page. Details are also available on our 'How You Can Help' page.



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This page was updated on Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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