School Development Fund
Kathy Burrington, Serenity Holidays’ Graphic Designer and member of the School Development Fund team in the UK keeps you up to date with their latest projects in both The Gambia and the UK. We are keen to promote twinning between schools in the UK and Thee Gambia as a way of helping both schools, not simply through donations, but by improving cultural awareness.
Kathy Burrington, our in-house graphic designer and keen photographer keeps you up to date with our latest School Development Fund initiatives.
Having travelled to The Gambia, both on holiday and on business on numerous occasions I have taken the opportunity to visit many schools in The Gambia and the range of facilities can be staggering. I was recently shown into a classroom where I discovered row after row of working computer stations which was a pleasant surprise when you consider some schools struggle to find enough rickety chairs and benches for the pupils let alone desks and they certainly don’t have a computer or even electricity to run one even if they could get their hands on one! Yet even the most well equipped school that I have seen in The Gambia has very little compared to schools here in the UK.
The Gambia Experience’s School Development Fund has been running since 1989 and in that time has helped over 100 schools in a variety of projects.
Earlier this year the fund donated over £6,000 split between 5 schools across The Gambia. Most of these projects are now completed including a new kitchen at Kabafita Upper Basic School, the renovation of staff quarters at Pakalinding Lower Basic School and 60 new tables and benches at Niani Senior Secondary School. Further information can be found on our website. Since then, together with our clients, we have raised enough to fund two more projects: building a library at Jeddah Lower Basic School, Brikama and a desperately needed toilet block and well at Buduk Lower Basic School in the Central River Division. The well will not only provide safe drinking water for the children but it will also provide hygienic washing facilities.
Further funds are now being raised to build a wall to stop vehicles using the school grounds, at Sinchu Gundo, as a thoroughfare and to stop animals destroying their extensive vegetable gardens.
However, financial assistance is just one way to help schools in The Gambia and the School Developement Fund team have recently been investigating other ways to offer support. We are keen to promote links or twinning between schools in the UK (initially close to our office in Hampshire) and The Gambia as we believe it is a way of helping both British and Gambian schools, not simply through donations but by improving cultural awareness.
We will initially be looking at assisting the UK schools by providing information packs on The Gambia, giving presentations on education and living conditions and holding talks at PTA or governor meetings. For further information on school twinning please contact Katie Bushnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0845 330 2076.
If you would like to read more about the School Development Fund please visit www.schooldevelopmentfund.org