The trust team in The Gambia, led as ever by Kira Dalton, has embarked on another exciting project - this time building a completely new three-classroom nursery school and compound for children in Talinding.
The facility is badly needed; when Kira first visited the existing JTT Nursery School she found 134 children aged from 3 to 7 years crammed into a single room with no space for proper teaching or play activities.
Read the full report here, and please do stop to think whether you can make a donation to the project (our donation page, including online facilities, is here).
Every new project we undertake makes a world of difference to the lives of these young children, but we are only a small charity and every intervention depends on the goodwill and support of our individual and corporate donors. We are grateful to each and every one.
The founder of Mariama Mae Pre-School in Gunjur, Ali Calvert, has posted a report on progress at the school, as well as plenty of new photos. Click here to see the latest from this wonderful project.
by Trudy Andrews, Volunteer
This spring, as Ali was unable to get away, I went with my daughter Kate to visit Mariama Mae Pre-School in Gunjur. Well, we just managed to get everything on the list done in one week.
We found the school running well; the children happy and developing; and the resources being used creatively. The teachers were pleased to see us too. They had lots to tell us: all had attended a workshop by visitors from Concern Universal; a new teacher for class 2 was being tried out; and a 2 day curriculum workshop was being held in the village on Saturday and Sunday, which Kate and myself joined for a morning and found many very committed teachers who had given up days off to improve their skills and the education of pre-school children in Gunjur.
Kate managed to cover the well-used books of the reading scheme: you sure can tell which stories are the children's favourites; Milika's Bath and The River.
I was impressed by the progress that the year 3 children had made having had only one year of education since the school opened. I am sure that with their new teacher they will be ready to move on to Lower Basic in September.
One task I had set myself was to make an easel so that a local carpenter could follow the pattern and produce some more. I was successful, but had to adapt the pattern to the available wood. It was tested and worked well with the donated paint pots, brushes and wallpaper – now all we need are some aprons.
I enjoyed living within the community of Gunjur and love seeing the enthusiasm that all the children have for education, and for life in general.
The News Diary is a regular account of all that is happening at The African Oyster Trust. Please pop back for regular updates, follow us on Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have the latest news sent straight to your computer!
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.