Simon Wezel is the Founder of Kingfisher Trust - The Gambia, which is a registered charity dating back
From the beginning we used the name of Kingfisher Trust only and also used to say "We" when we did reports. Even
now after all these years not many know the name Simon Wezel and he is addressed most of the time as Kingfisher or
Mr. Kingfisher and if somebody asked who are "We" I would say that is Kingfisher and Me.
I came to The Gambia in 1984, the first 2 years I stayed in a Hotel, in 1985 I went with a Gambian friend to
Sabi ( Upper River Region) a little further than Basse, to visit his brother. It took us a whole day traveling by
bus to Basse and then local transport to Sabi. I stayed there for 3 days and nights and was quite a celebrity,
being a White Person, The year before me they had a French Man but he stayed only 1 night. The second day was
Sunday and they had the weekly Lumo (local market) and my friends brother was the local veterinary and he had to
check the animals the different butchers bought to be slaughtered, and I had to be introduced to all the butchers .
I was asked what kind of meat I Like and I told them that it was liver, well that evening we had enough liver fo a
On the way back we stayed an other night with family in Bansang, it certainly gave me a good impression of life
in The Gambia and stayed with my friends family for the next 8 years when I went to The Gambia and watching local
life and habits.
In 1994 I founded Kingfisher Trust as a local charity and rented accommodation on Kairaba Avenue. We imported
containers with Tools, Sewing Machines and typewriters and with the help of the European Development Fund
transported these to schools and skill centers in the Upper River Division, where the EDF had build schools and
skill centers. EDF build the building but did not supply anything else, so we had a very good start and became a
well known charity.
We continued this for several years, including help to Bansang Hospital, and other projects in other parts of
In 2004 we got involved with the Blind and Visually Impaired, we had moved from Kairaba Avenue as the rent had
nearly doubled and moved to Fajara, just of the main road behind the big mosque on Kairaba Avenue.
This was very successful and was opened by 3 ministers on behalf of the Vice President who had an other opening.
see www.kingfisher.gm for more details.
This continued until 2010/ 2011 when I had to go back to the UK for medical reasons. After Prostate Cancer
Treatment I got a clean bill of health and decided to return in 2916. The landlord of the Fajara property thought
he has cancer and will not return, so we are still in court since 2011 fighting for the return of our property, but
the court lost their documents.
On my return I found that in November 2015 all my Hosted website were hacked and I lost 29 Sites and over 50 sub
directories with all my Autobiography files was were sorted in section of my 83 years, which took me over 3 years
while I was in the UK.
This was reported to Europol and the Police in The Gambia, but as President Jammeh did not like bad news they
did nothing, except now I can say this kind young man was Lamin Gibba, son of Alhagi Gibba who I helped and
supported for more than 20 years.
The idea for my return was to extend the work for the Blind, by helping the Youth of the Gambia with English
Online as we have now permission to use the software for the Blind which would be good to help with English as the
software you can read it and you can also hear how it is pronounced.
This is now planned for the later part of 2017.
In the mean time we are now nearly ready with the first part of an Information Directory for the Gambia
covering: TOURISM - BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT - VILLAGES, SCHOOLS - EDUCATION all under www.123Gambia.com Umbrella