Looking back – those who helped make the River Gambia Expedition possible. Today, our thanks goes to Concern Universal

WASDA garden, Basse, The Gambia

Image © Jason Florio for Concern Universal – WASDA Garden, Basse, The Gambia

As we continue to trawl through 1000′s of images and multiple journal entries, for our forthcoming book about the River Gambia Expedition, we’re reminding ourselves of those who helped make our journey possible and, in the case of Concern Universal, adding the comfort and ease of passage factor to the first leg of our road trip down towards the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea – where we would pay homage to the source of the mighty River Gambia and the true beginning of our West African odyssey. For this, in the age old West African tradition, we bartered.

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Image © Jason Florio for Concern Universal

Before we left The Gambia, for the source, we visited a number of community-based gardens where Florio took photographs for CU – for their ‘Gambia is Good‘ (G.I.G) initiative. In exchange, they supplied us with a vehicle and a driver – Nicolas – to take us over the border into Senegal, with our two canoes, all our gear and our two Gambian team mates, Abdou and Ebou. What could have been a lengthy and expensive nightmare – getting through customs – was made seamless, partly due to being driven in a shiny 4×4, with NGO number plates, and having a huge seriously-important-looking radio antennae sticking out of the hood of the vehicle! We even managed to get the BBC World Service on the way!

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G.I.G van – CU Head Office, Fajara, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

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Jason Florio – shooting for Concern Universal, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

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Jason Florio - shooting for Concern Universal, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

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Our next stop: GADOH – Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing © Helen Jones-Florio

In our quest to document the lives of the people and communities whose lives depend on the River Gambia, we had phenomenal support from many, many people and companies. And, we are sure to be coming across more images from everyone who got involved – which we will post as and when.

Please stay tuned for further updates – especially about our River Gambia book!

The Florios (H & Flo)

P.S. If you are in Brooklyn, New York, between 19-29 Sept, come by and say ‘hello’ to us at Photoville

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NGO – Concern Universal : ‘helps communities around the world find practical, long term solutions to poverty’

Concern UniversalBefore we left The Gambia, for the River Gambia Expedition, we had the privilege of working again with an NGO called Concern Universal ‘...helps communities around the world find practical, long term solutions to poverty‘ CU are doing some phenomenal work not only down in West Africa but also in India, Brazil, Bangladesh.

Image © Jason Florio for Concern Universal - The Gambia, West Africa
For an update about the River Gambia journey (as of today) please check out our blog post here