The Children of the Gambia charity was founded in 1998 by Hildred Helm, It was whilst on holiday that she experienced children running after the tourist coach. When it stopped the children did not ask for money, they only wanted a pen or pencil so that they could go to school, she then discovered education is very limited for children aged 4 to 7 years. These children have to pay to attend school, on average 25 Dalasi a week, which is about equivalent to 50 pence, and many parents cannot afford these school fees so this means their children do not go to school. In 1998, the charity sent 36 boxes to Gambia containing supplies and in 1999, we sent a further 180. During the following 6 years, we were able to send four forty foot containers equipped with nursery equipment, medical supplies, desks, chairs and educational material, kindly donated by Leeds and Bradford Educational Departments, at present we are now sending over about 12 large bags every 4 months. Fundraising has enabled us to help many schools including ones in Abuko, Nyodema and Manjai Kunda we have also improved conditions in many others. We first built our own school in Kusalang village, about a 10 hour drive from our base in Serrekunda.
We try to help as many schools as possible by renovating existing buildings or building our own and supplying them with all the educational material and equipment, they need. The aim of our charity is to make as many schools as possible free, which will enable some of the children of Gambia a chance of a good education, which will in turn help them with a better start in life.
All work performed by the Children of the Gambia charity is voluntary. We are a non-profit making organisation, and so we rely on the generosity of others to help us help those less fortunate than ourselves. Every penny collected goes directly towards helping educate the children in Gambia.
Our Junior Leadership team have been involved in organising a shipment of old school uniforms, and pumps, to a school in Gambia. We just received a short video clip from them, which can be seen below. They have also collected books for the school, which are going to be shipped out soon.
We got this letter from our friends in Gambia, too:
We also received a certificate from the Speaker’s School Council Awards, recognising our achievement in the ‘Uniform for Children in Gambia’ probject.