FROM THE DIRECTOR`S DESK
We are moving towards the end of another school year and are so thankful for the massive support we have received that has enabled us to accomplish so much. Our new building at Half Dye is looking good and can be seen from quite a distance! Preparations are now in hand to begin Grade 7 in the Junior Secondary section of the school. The furniture brought over on the last container has proved invaluable in setting up the various departments in the school and the next, due to leave in August contains yet more resources.
By the end of January this year we had raised the D1.7 million (£27K) agreed for the land in the next compound to our Half Dye school only to discover that the owners had changed their minds on the price and were demanding D2.5 million (£40K)! We refused and after discussions with our builder and staff, we decided instead to develop our existing play area and when necessary stagger play times.
This proved to be a blessing in disguise as we have ended up with a much improved outside area, a canopy providing shade and seats for the children to have their lunches as well as the sandy, dusty playground concreted and painted green. Our staff of 78 in The Gambia also received a significant and much needed rise in salary and we now have a lump sum to begin our next development in Kanifing!
The next development is the building of a second storey over the long row of classrooms. That row of classrooms was built many years ago and now needs a new roof but we decided not just to remove the roof but build a second storey on it as well.
There will of course need to be a strengthening of the foundations and the total cost is likely to be around £70,000 and will start in the next few months after the rainy season.
This will give us a new multi-purpose school hall and new administration offices. As our schools grow we need to develop and upgrade all our buildings to meet the needs of the future.
The sponsored challenge this year was taking on the Three Peaks in Yorkshire, and despite non-stop rain throughout the day the majority completed the course and thousands of pounds were raised as a result to be used in this further development. Huge thanks to all you intrepid climbers. It was a pleasure for Sylvia and me to feed you along the way!
Beth, who helps organise these challenges along with Anne Waghorne, added to that personally a parachute jump and a twelve hour non-stop swim!!! Thanks Beth- that was tremendous!
A 40ft container is already packed full with school furniture and supplies and will be loaded on to the ship in the next few weeks and sent out in good time for the group going out in November to unpack.
Loaded on to the container are also large tins of paint and some in the group will be repairing and painting the toilet blocks in Kanifing.
Not only are school and medical items in the container but, would you believe it, sacks packed full with bras for the Gambian ladies!!! Janice in Newark has organised a supply to be put on the container and more than 2,000 have been donated already. Talk about diversification!!!!!
So once again can I say a massive thank you to all our sponsors, shop workers, admin and finance workers and everyone who contributes, whether in finance, time, effort or prayer. We look forward to another great year.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!!