With so much happening in our schools, it is promising to be another year of excitement and progress.
Our Half Dye school building is completed!!! After 4 years of raising money (£300,000) here in the UK, transferring it across to The Gambia and watching the building grow, we now have an excellent three storey school building able to accommodate 750 Nursery, Primary and Junior Secondary children. If one schools inspector in the Gambia is to be believed the school building is second to none in the whole of the Gambia. Why shouldn`t we deliver an excellent facility? Our children and staff deserve nothing less.
The school will build up to full capacity over the next 2 years which presents us with a challenge. The campus needs to be much larger to accommodate these numbers. We have negotiated the purchase of a large area of land adjacent to our school property costing £27,000 and are now in a position to buy.
Once bought, there will be a further £10,000 needed to erect a security wall around the area, clear the land and build a stadium type shelter for the children to enjoy their lunches in the shade. We are aiming to have the land signed over to us by the end of January ’19. If you are able to help meet the cost of this, that would be amazing! Then we can go ahead with the next stage of the project.
At the same time the upgrading of our Kanifing school (which has 1000 Nursery, Primary and Junior Secondary children) continues. A new first aid room has been prepared and equipped and a new full time nurse installed last September , working from our newly completed first aid room. From now on, children in both schools will benefit from having regular health checks.
Two weeks ago saw another 40ft container loaded on to a lorry and heading for London Gateway Port to be loaded onto a ship en route to The Gambia. This is due to arrive in Banjul in the middle of January and will be offloaded by the large group of 34 people going out in February.
Before the container had even been put onto the ship a phone call from a helpful contact informed us of an office being cleared of good quality furniture ideal for our schools, and sufficient to fill another 40ft container!. The opportunity was too good to miss so we filled yet another 40foot container! There was SO much fantastic stuff that yet another was ordered to take the excess and that one is being filled.
More sponsored events are being planned for 2019. A Three Peaks climb in Yorkshire called ‘HIKING4GAMBIA’ is planned to take place on the 7th and 8th June. (Apply for an information pack). Events like this organised by Anne Waghorne has financially benefitted the work and has certainly served to promote the work of New Life.
We now have 74 full time employees in The Gambia which as you can imagine is a challenge both financially and in administration. We appreciate every one of them and continue to do our best to look after them. Our schools are like one big family!
Here in the UK all our workers, and we have many of them, are volunteers! We do not employ anyone in this country. This means that all monies raised over here go directly into the work.
So I want to say a massive thank you to our shop workers, our admin and finance workers, the valued sponsors, participants in sponsorship events and many others. YOU are all playing a part in changing lives in The Gambia and eventually we believe will play a part in changing The Gambia itself.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!!