The weather was chilly and rainy, but this did not dampen the mood for the day’s event as the Nottingham Gambian community braved the ‘waters from the sky’ to fundraise for the Masjid Project.
The young and old came together in unison for the fundraiser, which took place on Saturday the August 5th, 2023, at the Forest recreation grounds.
Despite the bad weather conditions scores of people from the Gambian community and other communities turned up for the event which comprised plenty of games including football.
There was a bountiful of food for the event attendees to purchase and eat with the money realised going straight to Masjid Project, and there was a wide range of traditional foods from Gambia Community the highlight being Jollof rice or popularly known as Benachin.
Masjid is an Arabic word for Mosque.
At the pinnacle of it all was a men’s football tournament, which was part of fundraising for Masjid, an Arabic word for a Mosque, which was officially opened by the Deputy leader of Nottingham, Councillor Audra Wynter, of Bestwood Ward.
A total of five teams participated in this year’s football tournament, with the team sponsored by APS International, a UK and Gambia-based money transfer company, emerging as the overall winner.
The victorious team received a trophy and individual medals for the players with the event primarily attracting the younger generation, as they are considered as the future leaders.
According to the organisers, the purpose of event was to raise awareness among the youth, discouraging them from participating in harmful activities like drug abuse, which can present challenges for both, themselves and the authorities.
Gambian Community Volunteer mobiliser, Edrissa Touray, who was part of the organising committee of the event said: “We organised the sports day in order to, firstly, fundraise funds for the mosque project and secondly, to bring the people from our community together and have fun, connect and do some exercises as a way of staying healthy and fit.”
According to Touray, in recent years, the Nottingham Gambian Community has experienced a consistent expansion saying Nottingham has garnered increased popularity among Gambians, primarily driven by the pursuit of better opportunities and, more significantly, the cultural and religious assimilation of Gambians residing in this area.
“The community has grown beyond expectation and for that matter, there is an urgent need to create our own Community Centre, where we can freely practise our religion as well as holding most of our activities,” said Touray.
Nottingham, which is regarded as Britain’s cultural and multiracial melting of gold, has become more popular to Gambians during the past years, predominantly due to cultural and religious integration of Gambians living here.
Accordingly, this has encouraged many Gambians in Nottingham, to develop a positive relationship among the communities and it has resulted in people in the community to come together for initiatives that improves their lives in the city of Nottingham.
Touray explained that the Masjid Project Fundraiser Event sought to develop positive relationships among the Nottingham Gambian community areas to help people from different localities in Nottingham and get to know and understand each other better.
“We would like to encourage people in our community to come together for initiatives that improve their lives in the city of Nottingham as we seek to embark on a project to acquire a community centre for the common good of the community especially the youth.,” said Touray.
“We organised the sports day in order to, firstly, fundraise funds for the mosque project and secondly, to bring the people from our community together and have fun, connect and do some exercises as a way of staying healthy and fit.”Edrissa Touray
Gambian Community Volunteer mobiliser