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How We Have Helped

Our partnership with The Gambia is called 'Learning Through Friendship' and is a major part of our school life and is embedded in our curriculum.

Letters, photos, work and pictures have been exchanged so we all can get to know each other and find out how different and how similar our lives are. Year 3 learn about our link in one of their African Learning Adventure. Year 4 learn about the importance of water and help fundraise for well repairs.

This has inspired us to raise money for many projects through cake and ice lolly sales, our ‘Grow a £’ challenge, craft sales and so much more. Here are some of the projects we have funded.

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.

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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.

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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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