Summer 2018 Gamblog

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Firstly, a big thank you to all our sponsors, old and new who made the effort to pay their school fees on time. And to those who were late and explained why; we were able to work around it until they were paid, letting us get on with the mammoth task of collecting, sending then visiting all the kids and their schools to get them all paid up for the next academic year. Abaraka Barke. The logistics of collecting, sending and then visiting so many kids is a major feat and without the help of the admin team would have been impossible. Have you ever done a sponsored event then tried to collect the sponsorship money from those who said they’ sponsor you? Times that by nearly 200 kids and you’re in the realms of somewhere what its like but add in some 40-degree heat, 90% humidity and shanks’ pony and you’re right there with us. Your cooperation this year made it a lot more bearable. Thank you.

All the Serekunda kids have now been registered leaving just the remote villages to go. Getting around in the rainy season is no joke. As the majority of S4K kids live in the Western region most of their photos are now being added to their folders on our website. Please keep checking back if your kid is not there yet. They will be. Our admin volunteers work their socks off keeping the website updated and running smoothly so a big thank you to them too. Below: Your kids with their 2018-2019 receipts.

Even getting the kids (pictured above) registered and photographed was a mission as Gambian schools split their classes between the AM and PM as the number of children cannot fit in one session. This means S&G go back and forth to each school AM and PM and try and catch the AM kids before they leg it home to eat their lunch!

When S&G went to renew Abli C they found the recent rains had left damage there as well as in their compound. The whole class roof had caved in due to the tropical torrential rains and the kids were having Al Fresco lessons. Luckily it was a dry day! Sol had been to find corrugate to replace their roof, but it had sold out everywhere as everyone must have experienced the same fate. Open plan lessons bring a welcome breeze on dry days.

PaOus 1st!

We need the rains. As a sub Saharan country on the Equator the climate is hot arid and dry for 9 months of the year. The effect of Global warming is impacting on the amount and duration of the rains and with baked sand under foot when rain does come it has nowhere to go, as the country was built without a sewer or drainage system.

As the school year draws to an end; Schools are rushing to get the graduation ceremonies in before the rains hit at full pelt. S&G have been invited as VIP’s to several of these but not all have been attended due to family and other commitments. But the ones that have been attended have been a show of true African wonder as the kids pay homage to their traditional tribal roots.

Above small kids in Gowns and one of or girls in her traditional tribal dress prior to the dancing, which was amazing. The schools are now going all out with graduation ceremonies with parents expected to pay for gowns, hats each time their child graduates. This is a massive cost to bear for people who struggle to eat a balanced nutritious diet and personally we wish it was more traditional and less pomp and ceremony.

Badjie Kunda welcomed the safe arrival of ANOTHER boy. Girls are in short supply in G&S’s family! Pa Ebu arrived safe and mum and baby are both doing very well.

Below some photo’s from PaEbu’s Nginte (naming ceremony) being blessed by the elders.

Last summer S&G delivered a stack of SIAB to a village up country and 50 kids missed out as there were not enough bags to go around. Thank the stars above for our ever-amazing friend and partner Luke from SIAB who sent S&G more so the 50 kids who have waited patiently for a while finally got their supplies. They all wrote individual thank you letters, an example of which is below:

These supplies that come in a sturdy backpack, are essential to Gambian kids who often can’t even afford to buy a pencil and piece of paper. Of extra use were the Solar Buddy lamps which allows the kids to use solar power to study at night. Being on the equator, Gambia’s nightfall is always around 7.30pm 365 days a year so for kids that got to school in the afternoon and finish at 6.30pm; by the time they walk home it is often too dark to study in safety (no candle lights).

The last box delivery of this season arrived thanks to Sarah and some of them have been distributed. Happy faces all around with thank you videos and letters in reply.

As 2017-2018 academic year draws to an end, we want to wish all our sponsors and friends a long happy sun filled summer. Normal service should resume in Autumn

Simon Pedrick

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