The Gambia and me
A dream – From being a child Africa has always been somewhere I have dreamt of going to.
Reality – On my first visit to Kenya 20 years ago, I could not believe how similar it felt being there to my dreams.
The Gambia – 3 years ago through speaking to Sylvia Morgan, I found myself taking the last place on a Church bi-annual trip to the Gambia.
Involvement and repeat visits – Since that first trip I have been on every organized trip.
Warmth – apart from the lovely warm all year round climate, I find the culture very vibrant and the people very friendly.
Poverty – this is so apparent everywhere, and yet I think this race have something special that we don’t often have like family support, appreciativeness, an uncomplicated life and a friendliness and openness.
Wildlife – monkeys, donkeys, beautiful birds, lizards of various sizes and lots more!
New Life Children’s Centre – This work has been established for… years and has involved the building of 2 Christian schools, running them and sponsoring many children through the schools.
Child Sponsorship – for just £15 per month a child can be sent to school. Education that is taken for granted in the UK means everything in the Gambia. The masses of children sitting outside school compounds say it all. They all want to go to school. It is a way out of poverty there.
Visiting your child – as the Gambia is relatively easy to get to from the UK with a 6 hour flight and no time difference, visiting your sponsor child and the schools is easy and relationships are formed. I was able to visit my child’s home where I was very humbled by the poor living conditions of her extended family. It’s really hard to believe sometimes these days that people have to live like this
A Supportive Team – under the lovely leadership of Sylvia, every trip that I have been on, there has been a different set of people from around the country, all there for a common purpose and there have been some good times of chatting and meaningful conversations, and many new friendships have been made.
A Challenge – think about sponsoring a child if you don’t already, visiting and donating and spending money in the charity shop which raises money for the schools, and visiting the Gambia on one of the organized trips.
Out of our comfort zone – one more aspect of involvement in the Gambia is that many of us have the opportunity to do something there that we have not done before, like teach in the classroom, tell a bible story or just hug a child.