You can get involved with the Trust in a number of ways, from making a financial donation, to donating school resources or even visiting The Gambia and helping directly with one of our projects. Here's a flavour of how a few of our supporters have got involved.
Anne & Steve's story will appear here soon
Gloria sent us a lovely letter describing some of her experiences on her most recent visit to The Gambia in February 2018, here are a few extracts from that letter:-
I went to Nemasu school for a week or so, for the morning only, to do craft work with the children. I took a lot of resources along, paints, coloured card, pencils etc and Play Dough and cutters amongst other activities. I explained what the resources were to each of the 5 or 6 tables in the classroom, for the children to experiment with after I'd shown them what to do. The children were able to move from one table to another and experience the different activities. This went very well and they all kept busy. Building blocks caused a bit of a problem to some of the children at first but they got there in the end and the toy cars I took went down well with the boys!
The results of anything the children made I displayed around the classroom , which they quite enjoyed, being able to admire their own work.
The Head Teacher was asked by the staff to request that I go in one Saturday morning to do a "teacher training day" which I did even though it was a bit out of my comfort zone. It was good though to see the teachers are just as keen as the students to learn! I explained everything to the teachers as basically as I had done with the children. All the equipment was set out & I explained what to do etc and left them to it. The next couple of hours there wasn't a peep out of any of them as they were experimenting with all kinds of equipment. They were absolutely fascinated with the Play Dough along with the cutting and sticking and Lego building. The teachers found working with strips of coloured card woven onto black sugar paper quite tricky at first as they did with the cutting of straws and making a picture but they all persevered and got there in the end.
I also took several sets of laminated number and colour cards to a number of the (Trusts) schools which they all seemed delighted with.
I will be going to The Gambia again in February (2019), this will be my third visit. Each time I've been in February/March for a 5 or 6 week stay with Steve & Hilary (Lawther). I would definitely recommend anyone to go, it is so interesting and rewarding to see the children's smiles after they've achieved something new.
A testimony from students at Plymouth University will be posted shortly
We'll soon have an update from Emily Blanchard about how her school, Ferney Lee Primary School in Todmorden, got involved with the Trust and made a huge donation of school resources that would otherwise have been scrapped.
Although I've done a fair amount of travelling I had never been to Africa and so decided to join my brother on one of his trips out to The Gambia in February 2018. I spent a memorable week with two of the other GST Trustees, Steve & Hilary Lawther, who showed me round all the Trusts schools and then let me loose on one of their projects. I never thought that I would have THE best "holiday" of my life painting and helping to finish off the new library at Loumen School but that's exactly what happened. It was genuinely a pleasure to add real value to the great work that the Trust do and contribute in such a direct, hands on way. The Trust do such marvellous work out in The Gambia, there's nothing overly fancy or clever about what they do - they raise money, they collect unwanted school resources in the UK and they build & support schools in The Gambia with those resources & funds, as simple as that. Nothing is wasted, no money is used up in admin and I thoroughly enjoyed helping in my own small way.
I learnt such a lot about life in West Africa, it was both humbling and rewarding to spend time with people that really do appreciate the effort & work that is being put in by the Trust and its supporters ........ so much so that I'm planning on doing it all over again in February 2019!
I would fully recommend that if you've got the time (and a decent paint brush!!) that you get yourself out to Banjul to have the time of your life.
I visited the Gambia in December 2018 at the invitation of Gambian Schools Trust. I visited all their schools including the ones up country and then I helped out with the re-painting of the school walls at Kunkajang school. This experience was something else. By doing something so relatively small made a massive difference to the school and the appreciation you received was unbelievable. I met many different people and it was really good to hear their stories. Definitely makes you put things into perspective and it changed my mind set on certain things for sure.
If you want to do something different, maybe out of your comfort zone and make a difference then I would recommend you get in touch with The Gambia Schools Trust. A very well organised charity that is making a huge change for children in The Gambia. I’ll definitely be back !
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