From Bath to Banjul: A Family’s Pilgrimage with Legs4Africa

November 6, 2023

The story of Legs4Africa is one of connection, kindness, and the enduring impact one act of generosity can have. It’s a narrative that binds two families from vastly different backgrounds, united by the desire to make a positive difference. This tale began with a simple yet profound gesture when Euan, a young lad from Bath, reached out to donate the prosthetic legs he had outgrown. This act of kindness set in motion a journey that would not only change lives but also shape the future of our organisation.

The trip to Gambia was truly amazing. Seeing how legs for Africa has improved the prosthetics clinic and has enabled hundreds to walk made me feel proud and happy to be part of the charity. Also, meeting Wudah and her family was an experience I will always remember and has strengthened our bond.

Euan Murray

The donated limbs found a new home with Wudah, a young girl in The Gambia. However, as Legs4Africa grew and evolved, we shifted our focus from donating whole prosthetic legs to dismantling and distributing components to rehabilitation clinics. This change has allowed us to maximise our impact, ensuring that each piece can be tailored to fit the unique needs of the individuals we serve.

Recently, Euan’s family embarked on a heartwarming pilgrimage to The Gambia, a journey that brought them face-to-face with the community they had indirectly touched. During their visit to the rehabilitation clinic in Banjul, they witnessed the profound difference their generosity had made. The clinic, fueled by dedication and compassion, has been instrumental in transforming the lives of countless amputees, helping them regain not just physical mobility but also economic and social independence.

It was profoundly moving to see first hand the tangible and practical benefits that Legs4Africa are bringing to Gambia. The staff at the prosthetics clinic are dedicated to improving the lives of Gambia’s many amputees and work hard to get them physically, economically and socially back on their feet.

Amy Colquhoun

Their trip was filled with memorable encounters, from playing football with the Gambian Amputee Football team to meeting with various amputee groups. These experiences offered the family a unique insight into the resilience and warmth of the Gambian people. In a recent correspondence, Amy, Euan’s mother, reflected on their experience: “The Gambia has had a profound effect on them (and us). The people are beautiful inside and out.” This sentiment was echoed by Grant, Euan’s father, who was deeply moved by the “smiling coast” and its people.

One particularly touching moment was witnessing Wudah and her sister see the sea for the first time, a poignant reminder of the many firsts that Legs4Africa facilitates through its work. Amy encapsulates this beautifully, stating, “It was profoundly moving to see firsthand the tangible and practical benefits that Legs4Africa are bringing to Gambia.”

Euan’s family’s journey is a testament to the ripples of change that can stem from a single act of kindness. Their story illustrates the profound connections that can be forged across continents and cultures, united by a common thread of humanity and compassion. It’s a narrative that continues to inspire and drive us at Legs4Africa, reminding us of the incredible impact we can have when we come together for a common cause.

As we move forward, we remain committed to our mission: to maximise the number of serviceable prosthetic legs rescued and to ensure that as many amputees as possible can access affordable rehabilitation. It’s a goal inspired by stories like Euan and Wudah’s—a reminder that even the smallest act of giving can lead to life-changing journeys.

The Gambia fully deserves its “smiling coast” tagline. But in a country with so many needs, it is fulfilling to support a charity that is local, well-organised and brings both physical and mental health benefits to those it supports.

Grant Murray

About the author

Name: Tom Williams

My passion? Ensuring no prosthetic leg goes unused. I’m dedicated to collecting, refurbishing, and sending these vital pieces of technology to our partners in Africa, where they make a world of difference. When I’m not immersed in this mission at STAND, I’m often found outdoors, embracing nature. I love long walks in any season, camping under the stars, and enjoying the serenity of the great outdoors. My evenings often involve a unique hobby – maintaining and repairing old pinball machines. This blend of precision and nostalgia keeps me engaged and always learning. This fusion of dedication to my work and my love for nature and tinkering drives me every day, both at STAND and beyond.

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