New documentary captures Gambian road trip for deaf charity

Remi Bumstead

Remi Bumstead made the mission in 2019 on behalf of Kadect, a charity based on Hatfield Road which helps deaf children. - Credit: Remi Bumstead www.remibumstead.c

A momentous road trip from St Albans all the way to The Gambia in Africa has been captured for posterity in a new documentary.

Remi Bumstead completed the mission in 2019 on behalf of Kadect (Kashmiri and African Deaf Children's Trust), a charity based on Hatfield Road which helps deaf children, driving a mini-bus to France, then drive through Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal before finally arriving at The Gambia.

He revealed: "We were actually on a race against Covid as each country shut their borders soon after we passed through."

The charity decided it would be more financially advantageous to buy the minibus in Europe, as it would be hard to find reliable minibuses locally in The Gambia for the same price.

Remi recorded the journey on video to raise awareness about KADECT and deaf education, and has finally completed the finished film.

Remi explained why it has taken so long to pull together: "I would think it was finished and then come back a month later and re-edit the whole thing. The trouble of being a perfectionist."

He added: "Our aim was to film a story in each country however this wasn't possible due to some safety and political aspects in Western Sahara and Mauritania. We did however meet with different organisations working with children in Morocco and Senegal and of course in The Gambia at the deaf school."

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On the highlights of the trip, Remi said: "I think one that sticks out is meeting so many amazing people along the way. But mostly just being on the road and talking to people we passed on the side of the road and at stops along the way. 

"The key highlight was arriving at the deaf school in the Gambia and realising that these children would now have a safe way to and from school, and knowing that children will be able to access an education for the first time.

"We became the bus drivers on its first school run and picked up a new child who hadn't been able to access the school before. This made the journey all totally worth it."

Kadect was founded in 2001 by Mohammed Akhtar, who runs the charity shop and has a deaf daughter and two deaf grandchildren.

Watch the video at remibumstead.com or kadect.org