The Gambia School Appeal
Over the last few years we have been raising money to build a school and provide much-needed educational equipment for a rural school in The Gambia. To date, we have raised over £20,900 which has refurbished a library and bought a computer and photocopier for The Wordsley Preparatory School in Gambia and built and furnished a school in Nyofellah Madina.
We will now be fundraising for both the orphanage and the orphanage school near Serekunda to help provide them with clean water, mattresses and teaching resources that can hopefully make a difference to the young children we met.
A group of our students and staff visited our partner school Mansa-Colley Bojang School in The Gambia over the Easter period.
This year the students all got stuck into helping with the building of the new Science Block at Mansa-Colley Bojang.
Students cleared the huge patch of land of all of the plants and debris that had been left, and within no time we were ready to dig the foundations! However, as both staff and students quickly came to realise, breaking through the hard Gambian ground in 40ºC heat was no easy task.
Yet everyone persevered, and before long, we had a trench ready and a whole group of students who were now experts in Gambian building practice.
The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa.
Gambian children usually start school aged 7 and complete basic education at 16 years old.
However, access to education is varied throughout the country with only 63% of children in deprived rural areas receiving a basic education.
Our Head Boy and Head Girl met their Head Boy and Head Girl.
Our raised funds have built a new school in Nyofellah Madina for orphaned children. The old school was in a temporary structure. A previous year’s group helped with the final building and plastering of six classrooms. Cementing floors, building a veranda and making bricks were all part of the day’s work in the heat of the African day.
This year’s group returned to Nyofellah where they were greeted by about 100 children all shouting ‘welcome’. Seeing their daily lives was very hard hitting, however seeing the new school which we had funded and seeing the children whose lives we were changing was truly inspiring.
Our plans for the future include raising money to train teachers via http://sponsoragambianteacher.org and for individuals to take part in sponsoring individual children to go to school (http://www.sponsoragambianchild.org).
Mr Fox, Head of Sixth Form who helped to organise the visit, said: “The students loved meeting and teaching all of the children. They planned and taught lessons to the primary aged students including making paper snakes, aeroplanes, creating masks and undertaking various sporting activities.
Our fourth day was spent with Gambian families in their compound. We split into four groups, and walked round the bright and bustling Brikama market to buy ingredients for our ‘Chicken Yassa’, which we would be cooking later on. Upon reaching the compounds, we set to work preparing the ingredients, and entertaining the children with dancing, games and football!
The host families were incredibly welcoming, and before long everyone had got the hand of the cooking. Will Bridges was now a professional when using the giant pestle and mortar! We sat down together with the families we had cooked for, and ate the traditional Gambian way, with everyone commenting on how much they were enjoying the fruits of their labour!
It was another amazing trip for our students, who were absolutely brilliant. It is an inspiring and heart warming experience which they will never forget.
It was fantastic to be able to work with the Kinver Primary Federation staff, who had done so much to raise funds and collect donations ready for this year’s trip. Mr Willetts, Mrs Grove and Mrs Whiston, along with Allice Grove and Emily Whiston were brilliant throughout the entirety of the week.
They threw themselves into every task, and fully immersed themselves into Gambian culture, and it was a pleasure to share their company whilst we were in Africa! We are very grateful for all of their support and hard work, and we’re really excited about continuing the partnership between our schools to help make an even bigger difference to our partner communities in The Gambia in future.”
Muctar Bojang, from The Gambia Experience, visited Kinver High School last year and is returning this summer to meet the students and staff who have raised money this project. He works to encourage links between UK schools and schools in Gambia. He will meet some of the students who are fund raising as well as those who hope to visit in the future. A partner within the Invictus Academy, Crestwood High School are now joining forces with us and raising money to build a secondary school in the same area.
We like to inform you of the challenge but also wish to offer you the chance to be involved with this really good cause if you have the time. Of course, we would gratefully accept any donations to the fund. We also welcome any ideas for raising funds, support for events or resources we could utilise.
Here’s video footage that one of our students recorded about the Gambia Trip in a previous year.
Thank you for your support.