The African Oyster Trust is delighted to be taking part once again in the Big Give #ChristmasChallenge19. Our aim is to raise enough money to provide a school-day breakfast for every child in one of our nursery schools for an entire year.
The Big Give, the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign, starts at 12pm (midday) Tuesday 3rd December and runs until 12pm Tuesday 10th December.
Any donations made to the Trust during this period through www.theBigGive.org.uk will be matched by supporters including the Friends of The Reed Foundation; meaning that every pound you donate will be DOUBLED! So a gift of £10 will become £20, £50 will become £100, and so on for donations up to our campaign target of £2,000.
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 will mean 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 the 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.
Initially we intend to pilot this initiative in one school in order to measure success. The first target is therefore to raise enough for the first year of the project - £1,600 to pay for a year’s ingredients, firewood and wages for a cook, plus the initial cost of pots, pans and utensils.
But of course we want to exceed that target if we can! First, it is vital to ensure we can sustain the project beyond the first year, and second we want to be able to roll it out, if successful, to other African Oyster Trust nursery schools.
Making a Difference
No one can explain how big a difference your support makes better than the people who are most closely involved with our work.
"The African Oyster Trust's work has transformed the welfare of people in the district and beyond."
- Chief Alhagie Dampha
"In the 15 years that AOT has been running it has helped hundreds of children get a good start. There are now 18 year old young men and women, who learned at the nurseries, leaving school and college. They are literate and getting jobs, so breaking the cycle of poverty"
- Lady Kira Dalton - Trustee
"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 3rd December and 12pm Tuesday 10th 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.