By Lady Kira Dalton
There is so much happening across all the Trust projects at the moment it is hard to know where to start – so I shall simply take them one at a time
The Stepping Stones Nursery School
I am delighted to report that the new classroom, our fourth, was built over the Easter Holiday.
Fanding and his team worked extremely hard to complete the work while there were no children on site to get in their way, and they succeeded despite problems with water supplies.
New furniture is now being built and all that remains is the painting, which will be carried after the rainy season in good time to welcome another 30 children to this delightful school in September.
We are in the process of interviewing to find a teacher for class 4, and while all this was going on, our existing teachers all attended a 10-day seminar on teaching phonics, English and local languages at St Peters High School, organised by the Regional Education Department.
They enjoyed it very much and have come back full of new ideas to make learning even more fun at Stepping Stones.
Mariama Mae Nursery
Also having a spot of spring cleaning over Easter was the Mariama Mae Nursery.
All of the floors have been re-screeded and the school and playground equipment has had a fresh coat of paint.
Fatou was also delighted to announce that some kind donors have provided porridge ingredients so that the children can have a little breakfast when they arrive at school for the rest of this term.
Hilary Emery Nursery School
The school enjoyed several visitors last term and were delighted with the books, toys and supplies they brought for the children.
Head Teacher Janko has now finished his ECD three year course and is looking forward to taking the WAEC exams soon.
We wish him luck and I will look forward to attending his graduation ceremony.
Jappineh Health Centre
The centre continues to set the standard for accessible health care in rural Gambia.
It was a pleasure to type their annual report to the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare and reflect on the wonderful job they are doing treating the citizens of Jappineh and all surrounding villages.
Especially as they are now able to do so on a nearly self- sufficient basis. During March the committee was able to pay for the bulk of their drugs purchase for the whole of next year themselves and continue to cover all their own salary costs.
Thanks to the generosity of KASTIA foundation, we have again been able to pay the annual running costs for their ambulance and, thanks to Mel and Dee Bixley we are continuing with the new programme treating psychiatric illnesses at both the health centre and the nearby marabout's compound.
Kajabang Health Post
After a somewhat slow start last year, not helped by the roof blowing off the building in a big storm shortly after the official opening, Kajabang Health Post is making steady progress.
We held a number of free health check days and an eye care session in collaboration with the Gunjur Project and some visiting opticians.
Now that word is getting around, the patient numbers are slowly coming up and Bashiruh is doing an excellent job holding some first aid training sessions at the local school.
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.