Gambia School Support
We raise money and help to run two nursery schools in Brufut, The Gambia, West Africa .
The AVI school for 185 children and Brufut Sanchaba school 150 children.
They are 5 mins walk from each other. The children are between the ages of 3 and 6.
We believe the Gambians should operate these schools. In July 17 we set up a Gambian charity with a constitution and 10 capable Gambian trustees. Under our close guidance we are coaching the Trustees to run the school well. We have found a keen 25 year old girl as administrator and communicator with the GSS in the UK. This has brought about a step change in the strength of the governance and accounting.
GSS's approach is to treat its donors and contributors as investors who wish to see their money spent wisely and good outcomes delivered. We provide regular feedback on the project by way of detailed business like reports (we do not do emotional pleas) after each visit to The Gambia (currently 3 p.a.).
Finally donors money is never used to pay overheads, expenses or travel/hotel etc. All expenses are paid by the trustees themselves. In fact all trustees donate to GSS as well.
Gambia School Support (GSS) provides the children with an early education, healthcare, an improved diet and plenty of sport/games and good honest fun!
We have been able to make the following improvements:
We employ a health assistant, Mrs Cham, 5 mornings a week. She checks the children, treats minor ailments (cuts, sores, eye infections, impetigo, ringworm, burns etc) and refers serious owes (e.g. malaria, sickle cell disease) and she also runs sessions teaching hand washing, hygiene and teeth care.
Deworming programme. Every 6 months we pay for a nurse to deworm all the children.
We have increased the milk ration from 3 cups per child per week to 5 (high quality imported Dutch milk powder).
We have started craft, singing/dancing lessons and football coaching for the older boys and girls.
Increased teacher's pay from £415 p.a. to £520 p.a. still too low and we intend to increase steadily.
Improved the schools governance, administration, record keeping and accountability.
Finally only about half the children between 3-6 in Brufut go to school and many of the nursery schools fail because their overseas sponsors money dries up. We are delivering a sustainable solution.
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