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Friendship and Fundraising

At All Saints, we are immensely proud of the link we share with the community of Soma in The Gambia, West Africa - best known as our ‘Learning through Friendship’ project, in collaboration with Kaira Konko Scout Active Support.  Together, we have helped to grow education, scouting and opportunities for the young people of Soma while also supporting sustainable community based projects.  ‘Learning through Friendship’ is at the heart of our Gambia link and through joint-curriculum projects, we strive to enable our children to learn from and about one another through friendship.  As part of our link, we also source community projects in need of support and enable opportunities for our children to lead fundraising projects that involve our community.

Our next project - Sitahuma School

We are striving to raise £5,000 to help rebuild the teacher accomodation at Sitahuma School.  In The Gambia, teachers are placed in schools, often miles away from their families and the current facilities at Sitahuma make teaching and living very difficult for the staff who are sent there.

The school desperately struggles to recruit and retain teachers due to the incredibly poor living conditions. Teachers in The Gambia have such an important role - helping to raise aspiration and striving to inspire the next generation to make an on-going difference to their local communities and wider nation. As you can imagine, with such uninhabitable accommodation, teacher morale is low and so we very much hope to improve their conditions through our fundraising project.

Our pupils have been tasked to use their entrepreneurial skills to help raise this money and we're very excited to see how they involve our local community to raise money for our global community.  Please visit our fundraising page for further information.

Click here to go to our Virgin Money Giving page.

Gift For The Gambia

We launched our Gift For The Gambia fundraiser In December 2018. It was a huge success and raised £1885. During our February 2019 trip we were able to purchase and hand out all the gifts, bringing much happiness to schools, children and the wider community. 

The Gift For The Gambia is ongoing so if you are interested please contact the school. Click on an image below to see a how the money was spent.

Sitahuma

Sitahuma is a rural village 30 minutes from Soma. We visited in 2018 and were given such a warm welcome by the whole community that we fell in love with it and vowed to come back. In 2019 we returned and spent five days creating a beautiful library and study centre for the community to use. We took solar lamps so evening learning can take place too. We had beds made for the teachers, cut down a dangerous tree, extended a water pipe to the school garden and planted 25 bananas.  A busy, productive and very rewarding week.

The library before.....

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Here's our newsletter with more details of our busy days.

The library after!

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Solar Power at Jabisa

During the summer term of 2018 we had several ice lolly sales and raised £700 for a solar power system at Jabisa.

Jabisa is a lovely small village 3km down a rough track. There is no electricity in this village so when the sun goes down at 6pm it gets very dark!

We have visited the school many times and they staff, children and village have made us to welcome. 

The teachers live in accommodation next to the school so unless they had candles, they weren't able to prepare for lessons the next day.

The solar power system has given them light and power sockets enabling the teachers and villagers to achieve so much more.

Training Bakary Baldeh

For many years Bakary Baldeh was a teacher at The Soma Lower Basic School in The Gambia. He was very helpful during our visits and we became good friends with him.

After many discussions with his Head Teacher and observing him teach we offered to sponsor him through university to become a future headteacher.

The Womens Garden

Most villages and towns have a Women's Garden which is like an allotment where each family will have a plot worked on by the women. These gardens are a vital source of food for the family.

We have seen some beautiful established gardens over the years and it was a great moment when it was decided to convert the wasteland behind the school to a garden for the mothers in the school community. The area is vast and was covered in scrub bushes and the ground very hard. It seemed like an impossible task.

The first thing they needed was a wall to stop the goats getting in! Then bore holes had to be drilled to create wells. We raised the £5000 for a brick wall and contributed to the drilling. Then they set to work hacking at the solid ground with pitchforks.

It was an emotional moment when we returned the following year, we couldn't believe the transformation - beautiful neat patches of rows of lush green plants. These wonderful women had created a paradise!

Here's a 'Year by Year' view of what we have done at our school to help our friends in The Gambia

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