By Marc Sanderson, Volunteer
We've just posted some new pictures of the Mariama Nursery School project in Gunjur - click here for details on the project, or here to go straight to the photo gallery.
The photos show exactly what the team in Gunjur took on (I think derelict is a pretty fair word), and what a fantastic job they've done in creating a brand new nursery school there.
On the subject of photos, we've also added a new photo viewing facility throughout the site, so any photo you click on will now be displayed in full size. I hope it helps you get a better feel for the projects and the people involved.
And finally, the more observant among you may notice a slightly changed look to the website. New menus and a wider format mean we'll be able to squeeze in even more news over the coming months, so please do keep coming back (or why not sign up to the news feed / RSS feed - if you want to know more about this, the BBC has a great introduction to the subject - click here).
By Marc Sanderson, Volunteer
As we sit here putting the finishing touches to our new website (which we hope you find interesting and useful by the way), I am transported back to my first visit to The Gambia in September 2007.
Simply looking through my photographs, many of which are littered around this site, reminds me of a trip which literally altered my world in a single week.
And the thing is, it's not easy to explain why it was so life-changing. Why it was so unexpected. Why, in fact, I have struggled to put that trip into words ever since I returned.
I think what surprised me most about the trip was the sheer joy, the hope and exuberance I found in a country which I knew to be suffering from the most appalling problems and privations.
Of course we saw and heard the most heart-breaking things as we visited the schools, walked round the communities and met the children and their families. Everything I'd read and heard had at least prepared me a little for that. After all, this is one of the world's poorest countries we are talking about here, a country where people are suffering from poverty, hunger and disease every single day.
But what caught me completely off guard was the amount of smiling I saw - every single day. And the laughing. And the children playing football in the street - just like at home. And the sheer positivity of nearly everyone I met.
This was not a place full of people waiting for good things to happen - this was a place full of people doing their very best to make those good things happen.
People who needed a new nursery for the children weren't sitting around waiting for Government funding - they were out building that nursery. People who needed somewhere to live were busy building a house. Any help the AOT was able to give was just that - help. With just a little funding for materials, or perhaps to cover a few essential running costs, I was watching Gambian people working, creating and striving to make life better for themselves, their families and their friends.
I think that's why I've struggled so much to explain myself since I've been back home. I simply can't do justice to the sheer inspiration these people gave to me in just a single week.
I guess what I can say is that they continue to inspire me every single day - to approach everything with a much clearer perspective on what really matters, to approach the world with a much more positive 'can-do' (ugh word!) attitude, and to do what I can to find the few little things they need if they are to continue helping themselves towards a better life.
I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.