The African Oyster Trust is delighted to be taking part once again in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
Our aim is to raise enough money to not only continue but expand our breakfast programme, which provides school-day breakfasts for children in our nursery schools.
“Our children are so grateful for their breakfast porridge - some of them arrive as early as 7.30 am! Everything has become more possible because their full tummies lead to effective learning, and there are no complaints about stomach pains.” AoT Teacher
The Big Give, the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign, starts at 12pm (midday) Tuesday 1st December and runs until 12pm Tuesday 8th December.
Donations made to the Trust during this period through www.theBigGive.org.uk will be doubled, with match funding of up to £1,000 available. So a gift of £10 will become £20, £50 will become £100, and so on.
Last year’s successful Big Give Challenge saw us raise funds to provide a school-day breakfast for every child in one of our nursery schools. Since then we’ve expanded this successful pilot scheme to a second school.
Now, with your help, we want to bring this priceless service to a third African Oyster Trust nursery school.
Average income in The Gambia is less than £1 a day, and the cost of rice, bread and other essentials have all sky-rocketed in recent times. As a result, many children are arriving at our schools hungry and malnourished. A simple porridge breakfast every school morning means that the children can start their day with a full stomach and ready to learn.
Breaking the cycle of poverty
The African Oyster Trust was founded to support education and health projects not funded by the government. We believe that education is one of the most powerful and long-lasting ways of breaking the cycle of poverty.
Unfortunately, when children arrive at school without having had anything to eat, it badly affects their levels of attention and ability to learn. We want to ensure the children can concentrate properly and benefit fully from the educational experience by providing a simple breakfast at the start of every school day.
‘Turning porridge to knowledge’
The funds from the Big Give Christmas Campaign will allow us to set up a kitchen at a third nursery so that every morning when they arrive the children are given porridge. The cooks prepare it runny enough to be served in plastic cups. This simple breakfast, combined with our nursery education, really will give these children a better start in life.
It is a simple yet effective way to make a real difference in The Gambia.
Making a Difference
"The breakfast porridge we can now supply at some schools improves lives. Children arrive at school punctually, the nutrition helps retain their learning, and they are happier! Also, the economical standing of their parents has improved because they don't have to worry about finding food money."
- Education Director, Kemo Bah
"Our children are so grateful for their breakfast porridge - some of them arrive as early as 7.30 am! Everything has become more possible because their full tummies lead to effective learning, and there are no complaints about stomach pains."
- A teacher at Makumbaya Nursery School
"Knowing there will be porridge, our children are so happy that they almost dance to school! To all of you who have supported us, we thank you. The porridge helps them a lot."
- A parent at Mariama Mae School
"The African Oyster Trust is a remarkable charity. All its work is funded by voluntary contributions. It has zero overheads. ALL the donations go to support the people and projects that need it most. You can be sure that every penny you donate will be put to good use."
- Jackie Keyser, donor
Please support The African Oyster Trust Big Give Christmas Challenge if you can, by donating via the Big Give website between 12pm (midday) Tuesday 1st December and 12pm Tuesday 8th December.
Remember, by taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge your donation will be match funded and doubled, giving it twice the impact!!
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The news diary is written by a number of people close to the work of the African Oyster Trust, including founder James Holden, his co-directors, trustees and volunteers.