Three of the 4 trustees, Geoff, Di and Helen, visit The Gambia to spend time with the staff and children at the Nursery School.
The first day of the visit to the school coincided with Commonwealth Day, The Gambia having recently returned to the Commonwealth since the dictator, Yaya Jammeh, was deposed and a democratic government elected. Commonwealth day is now celebrated in nursery and primary schools throughout The Gambia and the children are encouraged to dress in their tribal costumes and bring typical tribal food to share.
Here is the head teacher, Ismaila Sama, telling you all about the tribal costumes.
As is usual on the trustees’ March visit, the oldest children, who are leaving later this year, were taken out for a school outing. Their current curriculum subject was the environment, which includes the food they eat and grow and animals as well as the general environment. The outing included a visit to Tanji fishing village where fish, which are part of their stable diet, are landed and processed. Only 2 of the children had ever seen the sea before!
As a special treat, they also went to meet camels at the Tanji Camel Safari. Camels are not indigenous to The Gambia but are widely used as transport and work animals throughout the Sahara regions. A first for all the children and the teachers.
As always, the trustees were made very welcome and spent some of the time updating wall painting and redesigning a couple of things.
A Shamanic Drum Circle fundraising event took place in Wedhampton near Devizes. All the participants spent a lovely afternoon round a log fire, drumming and singing based on Native American tradition and journeying with facilitator Geoff Miles. Testaments from 2 of the participants “All so uplifting, fun and healing”; “a thoroughly engaging afternoon”. The next one is 28th September 2109
The Nursery School received a very special visit at the beginning of the month. Shirley Cherry, author and illustrator of ‘Musa and the Incredibirds Talent Show’ went along to give a book reading and dramatisation of the book. Accompanying her were Lady Kira Dalton and Education Director, Kemo Bah, of the Africa Oyster Trust. Thank you!
“You are to be congratulated on a wonderful school. The teachers were so enthusiastic. They all really seemed to enjoy their work and the children were a delight! I thoroughly enjoyed reading my book and I think the children enjoyed it too. We were very impressed by the facilities, playground and dining area – we even got to have some lunch.” Shirley Cherry
January has been a very busy month at the Afrikaya Nursery School. There have been a few highlights.
First, Alimamo’s team of builders and painters completed the one storey building and painted the outside. When the inside has been completed, this will provide a Community Centre for New Yundum and an Adult Education Centre. Either the rooms will be hired out or an entrance fee charged for film shows and other events, thus generating an income for the school. The aim is for the school to eventually become self-financing.
Our good friend Dave Adams of Fair Play Gambia together with Bird Guide, Lamin J Njie, delivered lots of school equipment that had been donated to Colin Casey’s appeal. To read Colin’s story, click here.
The children and the staff are delighted with all the classroom stationary. Thank you Colin and friends.
During January, the UK team have been blessed with donations from many supporters. These will all sail their way to The Gambia during February. Thank you to all of you.