Links with The Gambia
We have developed, through one of our school governors - Mrs O'Hagan, links with a school in The Gambia. The way of life out there is in complete contrast to our way of life, learning resources are few and children walk for miles to attend school. There are over 70 children in the nursery with just one teacher!
Mrs O'Hagan makes trips to The Gambia every year and spends a lot of time in the school and the villages out there. We at Copthorne have donated many resources to the school, including tables, chairs, book towers, books, pencils, games and learning resources. These were shipped to the port of Banjul in The Gambia by container.
Due to us having new tables and chairs this year we sent all of our old ones to the school. We also donated three boxes of books and lots of pencils and crayons.
Mrs O'Hagan comes into school each year to talk to us all about the people in The Gambia and tell us about life out there and the projects she has been involved in.
She told us how the items we sent by container ship took 2 months to get there! The villages out in The Gambia have no electricity and the only water they have comes from a well deep undergrounnd. Mrs O'Hagan and her friends raised enough money to help build a solar powered water pump so the village now has a tap!
The children have lovely white smiles despite not having any toothpaste! They clean their teeth by chewing a stick from a special tree - they also dont have a sweet shop there which will help!
There are no prams and pushchairs in The Gambia. Mums carry their babies on their backs everywhere they go and even work with their children strapped to them in this way. Some of the people work in fields growing crops which need watering 3 times a day to make sure they dont die. Other people work making art and craft gifts and fabric and clothing to sell to visitors.
There are no toilets like ours in the Gambian school, there are just holes in the ground in a specially built block but now that the school has a solar powered tap they can use the water to keep the toilet block clean and free from flies.
It was really interesting to hear about the way of life over in The Gambia, we do not realise how lucky we are to have so many simple but amazing facilities in our country and we really do take this for granted.