GEMS

Jenny and Lynda's school, Sinchu Balia

News

Newletter 2019

Posted by maxjimjosie on April 22, 2019 at 2:10 PM


 

Hello again friends and supporters of Jenny and Lynda’s Nursery School, Sinchu Balia, Gambia. We are hoping that this newsletter finds you well.

We are absolutely delighted to showcase our (not quite finished) new school building! As you may remember from previous newsletters – the greatest difficulty faced in the village was the lack of school places. Over 40% of the children in the village were unable to attend from age 4-7. This has now been radically improved by a new school building to house one new class of children.

We are incredibly grateful to Gambian Projects Overseas (GPO). They have come on board – and used land owned by us at GEMS – to develop the new school building.

This feels like a brilliant step forward – and the children and families in the village will no doubt gain enormously in the years to come from the facility.

New School Name

We are currently considering a new name for the school. Tubab Jenny and Linda’s Nursery school is a bit of a mouthful! We are thinking about ‘Little Gems’ – a good tie in both with our charity name and with the little treasures we care for.

Training & other work provided by GPO

There have been a wealth of recent training opportunities for our teachers and others from local cluster schools. Recently teachers from thirty schools attended training on thematic teaching. The teachers gave a presentation and our teacher Abdoulie (pictured left in white) won the presentation for the best performing teacher. Well done Abdoulie!

Recent child protection training has brought together 24 teachers to focus on addressing the very particular concerns for Gambian children – FGM for example. This training has enabled these teachers to better protect their charges and look for signs of distress.

New ceilings have been erected in all the classrooms –they are looking fantastic with some new tables and equipment. We also have a new IT facility. This has been set up to allow students and ex-students to use computer equipment. We are allowing this facility to be used for evening study (as we now have lighting!) by adult members of the community too – who may wish to study or take courses. A great new addition to the village.

 

New Trustees

We have fully formalised our partnership work with Gambian projects Overseas by welcoming on-board three new Trustees – David Bennie, Gill Bennie and Richard Collins. David, Gill and Richard have been involved with our school across many years and have contributed so much in terms of their time and energy.

In addition we have welcomed Catherine Grundy (Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Design at Brighton University). Cate is bringing not just her own skills and expertise to the board – but the fantastic design skills of her students (from a range of faculties). They are currently working on a design project for the school – and their ideas are incredible. They have designed living walled gardens, pencils made from peanuts and a range of eco conscious designs to help the school. Watch this space.

Ann-Marie Williamson has also joined us as an Advisor. She is a Research and Insight manager who has undertaken many strategic governance roles within the voluntary sector. She has already contributed much in terms of her expertise and we are very grateful to have her with us.

What next:

We continue to seek sponsors – a small regular monthly payment makes a huge difference. We are £65 a month short of our salary bill – so are keen to attract on-going support.

We are also grateful for on-going support such as:

• Funding for teacher training

• Visits to our school (every November and February there are opportunities)

• Funding to buy learning resources (or actual equipment to send out – see right – water bottles filled with school resources)

Thank you all for your continued support! All the best, Maxine & Jane x

 

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