Nieuwsbrief 2013

Door admin

Looking back at what has happened during the past year. After our launch in may 2011, the tremendous success of Bob’s jubilee benefit, as you all know, went very fast. Sooner than expected we opened our doors in September 2012 to 90 children!! In march 2013 a small delegation (Andries, Bob, Edda, Jos and Annet) went to Gambia for the festive grand opening of the school. The film and pictures only give a small impression of this wonderful emotional day that we experienced. The warm welcome we encountered by the dignitaries, but especially our team of teachers and the kids was indescribable. The sight of our school, looked like a dream but was a reality and brought tears to the eyes.

During our stay we were able to speak with all those involved in our project, our teachers and kids. To motivate them to continue improving which in turn gave us a new and exciting impulse to also continue with this project and make improvements. As it turned out the ventilation left a lot to be desired, many children went to school with empty bellies and the lower basic including our big tree nursery which is at the end of the water supply chain, therefore ending up with only a few drops of water. It was nice to speak and hug Lady Kira Dalton, who support us and that we rely on during our absence. And to put her in the spotlight for a moment by giving her a delft blue vase to let her know how much we appreciate her. Without her commitment here in Gambia our efforts would prove more difficult.

We were immediately able to improve the ventilation problems and we were also able to get daily help to cook porridge for our youngest children, as they now begin their school day with a full belly. After the porridge is served, the cook stays on to help and support the teachers with the youngest children. Our team now consist of teachers Ebrim, Bintou and Kaddy, our school help Amie and Musu Colleyen and our concierge mister Mbie. So in addition to education an porridge we have a number of people at work that we pay a fair salary for Gambian standards thus provide for themselves and their families.

The water problem was bigger than we initially thought. As almost every where in Gambia there is enough water in the soil. However it must be brought up with either buckets or pumped into a water tower which is then distributed to various tap points. The primary school and nursery lay at the end of the village system and thus regularly without any pressure. The principal of the elementary school Cessay Musa, who really helps in monitoring and taking care of the payment of our staff asked us for help.

It was often very difficult to have a drink, eat and wash hands both for the children of his school and for our little ones. Good advise turned out quiet expensive! Private water was estimated at around €1500 euro’s. But we were in luck, friends of Frank Krijgsman came up with almost the full amount as a gift on his 65th birthday party!! This new school year we have enough water for both the young and older children of the school in Fara Banta!

The previous year we also renewed the toilets, the roof of the computer room of the elementary school. This year we renewed the electrical supply system of the same classroom. This month together with Kira we organized First Aid lessons for our team and teachers and a few older student of the elementary school. Our aim is to establish a first aid post in the elementary school as the village does not have a medical post. By helping each other where possible, we optimally keep our relationship with the primary school and the rest of the village.

Beside supporting the school we also help a few other youngsters that by chance have crossed our path. For example the young woman named Zainab Kuateh who has a good set of brains but without a job and money for further education. She successfully completed a computer course and now has a job. Salayman Secka the son of our care taker is studying village development. Last but not least we have helped, for a little while now, Wuhey Ceesay (see photo) who successfully completed the Cisco network course but seemed to have missed the boat when interviewing for a position. We quickly found out that he was very shy and therefore was not able to present himself properly. He was given a laptop, a few tips and a peptalk for encouragement and the advice to first try to get an unpaid internship with a company in order to get a foot in. He now has a paid job with a company which is offering him a scholarship for further study in Europe.

All this due to the help of our sponsors: cliënts, colleagues, friends and family, student and teachers of the Dalton and sometimes even total strangers. Our Gambian friends and children thank you all profusely! We are very happy with all the small and large donations we have received. There are so many people to thank that it is difficult to thank all of you personally of which some of you would even like to remain nameless. Without excluding anyone else, we would like to mention that Ivy Lodge had a winter sale (see the article under media tab) that collected a wonderful sum for our cause. Together with two tremendous gifts from my friends and my aunt from Australia we received that little extra that we needed. Resulting in a 4th classroom!!! Building has started and the plan is that by easter an extra 30 children can get schooling and a meal!

Once again we would like to thank everybody and please continue to support our cause. Every dime is used!

Much love and we wish you the best and don’t forget “WE WILL WALK TOGETHER” also in 2014.

Bob & Edda.