The Village Girl Initiative, Logo "empowering rural women and girls to change the course of their destiny" Donate with Amazon

Meet Our Team


Aisha - Founder

Meet Aisha

The Founder and Executive Director

Aisha Saidy is a mom to two adorable girls (Maymuna and Fateema) and works as a Critical Care Registered Nurse at a hospital in Columbus OH. She is a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a cultural ritual practiced from among a generational line of women (both her family and tribal line) in rural villages of The Gambia (West Africa). A century old practice still in existence and prevalent in The Gambia, West Africa. Having experienced and seen firsthand the impact of FGM on her life and that of the rural women and village girls in The Gambia, their lack of access to education and basic quality healthcare services in the most remote areas of the country; coupled with pregnancy related complications and childbirth deaths, she decided to do something! – Give back and Change the Hearts of her people and so The Village Girl Initiative was born!

Registered both in The Gambia and the State of Ohio as a Not for Profit Charity with a Federal Tax Exempt Status (501 c 3). She has coordinated with team of volunteers – Doctors and Nurses on the ground in The Gambia, by putting money aside out of her bi-weekly paychecks to buy medical equipment and medicine to conduct Free Wellness checkup clinics in Sanyang and its surrounding villages in The Gambia. Her goal is to completely eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the rural villages of the Gambia, where the act is widely and covertly practice; through provision of free wellness clinics, sensitization, free scholarship to educate village girls and empower rural women to change the course of their destiny.


Alyssa - Secretary General

Meet Alyssa

Secretary General

Alyssa Reed is a student studying Speech Language Pathology at Fort Hays State University, Kansas. She will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in December 2016 and has intentions to continue her Master's degree in the same field. Alyssa has been working with international students who are learning English for almost 2 years now at her school and loving it! Through this, Ms. Reed has being able to help people from diverse backgrounds. Alyssa has a special interest in rights for women in the Middle East and Africa. At The National Council for College Women Student Leaders Conference (NCCWSL) in Washington DC in 2015, Ms. Reed had an encounter with VGI’s founder - Aisha Saidy - and she jumped on the idea to help out with the initiative in making sure girls and women in the rural villages of the Gambia are empowered and protected from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This makes VGI very close to her heart! She is very happy and honored to be a part of The Village Girl Initiative board as Secretary General to help make a positive impact on the lives of young girls and women living in the rural villages of Gambia (West Africa)


Fatou - Treasurer

Meet Fatou

Treasurer

Fatou Nyassi is a Registered Nurse from Gambia working in Seattle, WA. She is currently working on her RN-BSN degree at Western Governors University. Fatou has firsthand knowledge about the plight of rural women and girls in The Gambia (West Africa), the health consequences and implications of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on their lives, the lack of access, inadequacy and unaffordability of healthcare services in these communities; all while working as a registered nurse in the most  rural villages of the country. Fatou is excited and inspired my VGI’s founder to Give Back and Change Hearts and empower young village girls and rural women of her country – The Gambia.


Mbackeh - Fundraiser and Resource Mobilizer

Meet Mbackeh Jabbi

Fundraiser and Resource Mobilizer

Mbackeh Jabbi is a Gambian living in The United States in the state of Common Wealth of Virginia. He is a father to a fourteen and six years old daughters and an eleven years old son. He attended Muslim High and Gambia High School where he earned both his Ordinary and Advanced levels certificates respectively. He briefly taught general science and mathematics at Muslim High after his A-Level and later worked at Management Service Gambia (MSG) LTD before migrating to the United States in 1995 to pursuit education. As a young boy growing up in the provinces (rural villages) in The Gambia, two great tragedies in Mbackeh's life shaped and inspired his outlook about his community and The Gambia as whole- the death of his beloved half-brother and the death of his cousin from child birth. Because of these tragedies, he vowed to pursue a career in medical field so that he can improve the healthcare services of not only his small rural communities but poor rural Gambians especially the health of women and girls.

Mbackeh enlisted in the United States Army as a Health care Specialist (Combat Medic). He believes such experiences will prepare him much better to provide and train people to deal with the health care challenges in his native Gambia. He was deployed in 2011 to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he sustained gunshot injuries. After recovering from that injury, he volunteered again to go back to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn and in 2012, he was deployed to Kuwait as a standby. His awards and decorations include Army Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism medal, National defense medal, two Army Good Conducts Medals, three Amy Achievement Medals, Army Non-Commissioned Professional Development Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Presidential Unit medal, Army Superior Unit Medal and four Certificates of Achievements. He is currently the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of a clinic in a military hospital in the Washington DC area supervising both military, government and government contractors. He has also worked in the Operating rooms as Anesthesia Technician during surgeries. His biggest dream is to build quality free clinics in The Gambia especially in the rural areas and train individuals to help treat people having minor health issues including midwifery. That is the reason why he plans to complete a Master's Degree as a Physician Assistant and this is the reason why he is so excited and honored to be part of The Village Girl Initiative (VGI) Team, raising funds and resources to enable it accomplish its priorities.