By Kira Dalton
During Gill and Jonathan Evan's visit to the newly built Stepping Stones Nursery School last March, we met with the Deputy Head of the adjoining large Kunkujang Keitayah Lower Basic School which gave us free land for building our nursery.
She expressed sincere gratitude to African Oyster Trust for the wonderful
gesture but, as usual, mentioned that they still had some further pressing needs - for a chicken! After much confusion, we realised that she meant a kitchen - having a suitable building is a prerequisite in order for the whole school to benefit from supplies of free rice from the World Feeding programme.
Before they left Gambia a few days later, Gill and Jonathan agreed to make a very generous donation to enable us to fulfill this dream.
The first requirement was for the school to have a good water supply, which took some time for them to organise. Another was to obtain a detailed plan to ensure that the building meets all of the WFP criteria, which took even longer!
Finally, with everything in place, we began building on the 1st of May and have every intention of having the work completed by mid June. That will allow time to get the cooking staff on board and rice supplies in place for September.
Gill and Jonathan's generosity will ensure that over 1,000 children are able to get a regular, nourishing cooked meal at lunchtime. And, as all of the WFP research shows, this will encourage parents to keep their children in 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.