Building work begins at Wisdom Nursery School - July 2022
stablished in 2009 the aim of the school is to provide an education for poorer children in the Serrekunda area. Squeezed into a small triangular plot in between high-rise residential buildings it caters for 90 children in 3 classes. Classrooms are very small with very little furniture and are in need of urgent refurbishment. There is no running water so that water, which the school must pay for, has to be carried from a neighbouring compound.
However, thanks to Kings Hawford School in Worcester who raised £3000 we have begun refurbishment of the school. The roof has been replaced, classroom floors will be re-concreted, windows put in classrooms and the front of the school retiled. A water tap has already been installed and a canopy to give the children some shade will be built.
Let's See Red project - June 2022
New ‘Sponsor a Child’ programme is Launched - May 2022
In May 2022 a new sponsorship programme has been started to support Omega School. The school is a small nursery school in Sinchu Sorrie, Kombo North, which is in the west coast region of The Gambia.
Established in 2015 the school’s aim is to give poorer children in the Sinchu Sorrie area an opportunity to attend school. There are currently 194 children in the school which has 6 classes: Nursery 1 -3 and Grades 1-3. Although children should pay fees to attend the school; for uniform, equipment and stationery many of them cannot afford to.
Sponsoring a child costs £12 a month which pays for school fees, uniform and books. Sponsors receive photos of their sponsor child, termly reports and any letters/cards/ pictures etc which the children give us when we visit.
For more information about the programme and/or if you would like to sponsor a child please email Bev Hodt: email@example.com
‘Baby Pack’ project is extended - May 2022
Due to the success of the ‘Baby Pack’ project at Sintet the project has now been extended to the health centre at Janjanbureh, a town located in the Central River Region of The Gambia. Many communities here live off grid and in extremely basic conditions.
babygrows, vests, socks, nappies, wet wipes, booties, blankets, sleep suits, baby clothes, hats, muslin cloths.
Hundreds of reusable sanitary pads are distributed - April 2022
As part of our Let’s see Red Project, hundreds of reusable sanitary packs were given out to various communities and groups in The Gambia. Each pack contains 7 reusable sanitary pads. In The Gambia 1 in 10 girls miss school or drop out due to lack of sanitary products or sanitation facilities in schools and on average girls miss 48 days of school a year during their periods. In a typical poor Gambian family where there is not enough money to buy food, shelter and other basic needs sanitary products are not a priority. Many girls are forced to use paper, leaves or old bits of cloth. This situation increases the likelihood of teenage pregnancy, health complications, early marriage and limits a girl’s future career and economic opportunities.
By providing Gambian women with the education and resources they need to manage their periods in a safe, hygienic and dignified way we aim to help reverse the negative trend of girl’s education in The Gambia; tackling the gender disparity experienced by many girls and remove many of the taboos and stigmas around menstruation.
Thanks to everyone who has donated to this project and especially to Sandra and her team of sewers for the hundreds of sanitary packs they donated to us.
More information about the ‘Let’s See Red’ project can be found in the projects section.
Repair work completed at St Peter’s Nursery School November 21 - April 22
Over the past few months repair work at St Peter’s Nursery school has been completed. During the rainy season last year tables were damaged due to a leaking roof and at the start of the dry season children were struggling to study in the extremely hot and dark classrooms. Since November 2021 we have shipped out new tables (donated by The Ridge Primary School, Stourbridge- thank you), replaced the leaking roof over the classrooms and toilet block, provided benches for the children to sit on (thank you Mount Pleasant Primary School Quarry Bank), replaced a dangerous school fence and put windows into each of the classrooms.
Container arrives in The Gambia - January 2021
After delays due to COVID 19 restriction our 40ft container finally arrived in The Gambia full of clothes, household items, bikes, baby packs, furniture, school resources and equipment and hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes.
The items were distributed to all the schools and communities we work with by our partners in The Gambia; Florence, Dembo, Mary and Michael.
We were delighted this year to be able to distribute items to the community at Darsilami and Farara Lower Basic School in the Central River Region.
Thank you to everyone who donated and to The Gambian Ministry of Education for their help.
We are now collecting for the next container which we are planning to ship late August.
Omega Nursery School- New classrooms being built - July 2020
Omega Nursery School is a small nursery school established in 2015 to give poorer children in the Serrekunda area an opportunity to attend school. There are 115 children in the school which has 3 classes: Nursery 1, Nursery 2 and Nursery 3.
The school is currently situated in rented premises and has been given notice to quit by the landlord. When we visited in February the building of new classrooms had been started but lack of finance meant that they could not be completed. However due to the fundraising efforts of the students, staff and parents of The Royal School Wolverhampton, nearly £2000 has been raised so that the building work can be completed; ready for when the children return to school in September.
We are also looking for sponsors to fund the building of a toilet block which will cost approx. £1300. If you would like to donate to this project you can do so by clicking on the Charities Aid Foundation tab on the home page of this website.
For more information about the Omega Nursery School can be found in the School’s Work section.
Our response to COVID-19 April 2020
Project Gambia continues to monitor the situation in The Gambia and the wellbeing of our friends and the communities we work with. As in the UK the Gambian government implemented lockdown and have closed schools, places of worship and shops selling non-essential goods. Public gatherings have also been banned and borders closed. Currently 9 people have been infected with COVID -19, with 1 death and 2 recoveries. Senegal, the country which surrounds The Gambia, has a higher number of cases and with limited border restrictions there is a real danger of the virus spreading into The Gambia.In the current situation many of the poorer communities are struggling. With rising prices and no income due to lack of trade because of the lockdown and collapse of tourism many of them not only face the threat of COVID-19 but the fear of hunger. Project Gambia is supporting as much as we can. We are currently paying the teachers’ salaries at the Hanne Vibe School and will be supporting the community at Half Dye/Kotusilo. This community is on the edge of a rubbish dump, with extremely basic conditions and no electricity or running water. Each day they live hand to mouth. Food is available but with no income these people are unable to buy any. Hunger is a daily threat to them. Project Gambia wants to help these families by distributing food packages that will last 2 months. The cost of a food package for 2 months is £33 to include: a 25kg bag of rice £14, 5 kg bag of beans £7, 5 litres of oil £7 and a packet of soap £5. If you would like to help us to provide food packages you can donate online via the website or contact Bev Hodt by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Any donation whatever the amount would be appreciated as it will help us to make a real difference to the lives of these people.
Thank you for your support.
2.6 Challenge April 2020
Are you up for the 2.6 Challenge? On Sunday 26th April 2020 the 40th London Marathon would have been taking place. Instead the 2.6 Challenge has been launched. Project Gambia is joining this challenge to help us raise funds to purchase food packages to be distributed to poor communities in The Gambia. So what does it involve? The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you, at home in the garden, part of your daily exercise routine. You can do it in one day or over the week, it’s up to you. You must however make sure that you adhere to the government’s guidelines on social distancing and exercise. So you could: go for a walk, walk the dog, go up and down stairs, exercise for 26 mins, run, walk bike for 2.6 miles/Km or 26 miles/Km, get 26 people on a video call, play 26 games, bake 26 cakes…anything you like. The Challenge will be launched on Sunday; ask your friends and family to sponsor you. Let us know what you are planning to do. You could send us a photo wearing your project Gambia T-shirt (if you have one) before and after the Challenge so we celebrate your achievement. Help us to make a difference to people’s lives in The Gambia who are not only facing the threat of COVID 19 but do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Food Parcels April 2020
Project Gambia continues to monitor the situation in The Gambia and the wellbeing of our friends and the communities we work with. As in the UK the Gambian government implemented lockdown and have closed schools, places of worship and shops selling non-essential goods. Public gatherings have also been banned and borders closed. Currently 9 people have been infected with COVID -19, with 1 death and 2 recoveries. Senegal, the country which surrounds The Gambia, has a higher number of cases and with limited border restrictions there is a real danger of the virus spreading into The Gambia. In the current situation many of the poorer communities are struggling. With rising prices and no income due to lack of trade because of the lockdown and collapse of tourism many of them not only face the threat of COVID-19 but the fear of hunger. Project Gambia is supporting as much as we can. We are currently paying the teachers’ salaries at the Hanne Vibe School and will be supporting the community at Half Dye/Kotusilo. This community is on the edge of a rubbish dump, with extremely basic conditions and no electricity or running water. Each day they live hand to mouth. Food is available but with no income these people are unable to buy any. Hunger is a daily threat to them. Project Gambia wants to help these families by distributing food packages that will last 2 months. The cost of a food package for 2 months is £33 to include: a 25kg bag of rice £14, 5 kg bag of beans £7, 5 litres of oil £7 and a packet of soap £5.
Overcoming Poverty Period Feb 2020
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises education as a universal basic right for all humans. However there are multiple factors that work against girls’ education in The Gambia. Lack of sanitary products means that on average girls miss 48 days of school a year during their periods. In a typical poor Gambian family where there is not enough money to buy food, shelter and other basic needs sanitary products are not a priority. Many girls are forced to use paper, leaves or old bits of cloth. 1 in 10 girls miss school due to lack of sanitary products or sanitation facilities in schools. We believe that all girls deserve the right to adequate sanitary products.
Project Gambia is therefore seeking to address this issue. Working alongside other partners our aim is to help reverse the negative trend of girl’s education in The Gambia and remove many of the taboos and stigmas around menstruation.We have agreed with our partners that our work should be:
- Sustainable: Although we will be donating some reusable sanitary pads wherever possible we will train the women to make the reusable pads themselves using locally sourced material.
- Educational: Girls have told us that they were scared and thought they were bleeding to death when they had their first period. We will education them about menstruation, what is it and what to expect.
- Environmentally friendly: The sanitary products we produce will be reusable and environmentally friendly.We are currently trialling the work with some of the ladies in the Kotusilo community.
In February with the support of Project Give Wolverhampton, education sessions were delivered and the ladies given a pack of reusable pads to test out for us! We will see how they got on in the next few weeks when we are back in The Gambia.If you would like to know more about this work, support us or even make things for us (we are looking for people who can sew) please contact Bev Hodt: email@example.com
News from 2019
News from 2018
For the villagers living in Kotusilo night time means either sitting in the dark or using candles which can be both dangerous and expensive. The ‘Light up Kotu!’ project has juts been launched and is enabling the villagers to rent solar lights at a fraction of the price of a candle. The money raised will be used to purchase more solar lights for rent. One small solar light can change everything: no more sitting in the dark; no more dangerous candles. With hours of light in the evening families can feel safe and children can learn and play. One small l amp can transform the life of a family.
To support the Hanne Vibe School we have launched the Sponsor a Child Programme. For £10 a month you can sponsor a child to attend the school. This £10 will pay for school fees, uniform and books. For more information about the programme or to sponsor a child please contact Bev Hodt: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted that work on the new classroom block at Madiana is near completion. Thank you to all of you who have supported and continue to support our ‘Buy a Brick Campaign’: we are almost there now. Look out for the photos of the completed building in the next few months.
It was wonderful to see the fruits of the labour at Sintet farm. Only a few years ago this place was baron, now is grows enough food to sustain village and there is even a little food left to sell.
The container was stocked full to the brim and shipped out to The Gambia in November with the arrival expected before Christmas. A huge thank you to everyone that was involved in the packing, donating and organising. Items sent included the Christmas shoeboxes, classroom furniture, medical supplies and much more.
Thank you to all of the members of the Stourbridge community who donated towards this years Christmas shoebox appeal. The times will be given to students at local schools in The Gambia.
In April 2017 Project Gambia opened a clothes shop where we sell discounted clothing to local people in The Gambia. Today the profits for that shop pays for 8 children to go to school.
Work has begun on the new classroom block at Madiana school, this will enable more children from the local village to attend lessons. This project was supported by Project Gambia and local primary school through the Buy a Brick campaign.
Project Gambia 2018 was deemed a huge success with lots of hard work with schools and local communities and many new projects to look forward to.
Sintet Farm before and after the installation of the solar water pump. Local people can now grow food for their families and are able to sell some of their produce.