The Gambia Project, in partnership with Marriotts School have returned from The Gambia after seven days of voluntary work in order to enrich the lives of students at the Kassa Kunda Lower & Basic School.
Two new classrooms were built across the week, replacing mud huts which students and volunteers decorated and installed with blackboards ready to use.
Stevenage FC donated two full sets of playing kit for Sokutu FC and Kassa Kunda FC, two local teams that were in need of support.
There was also fantastic news in that a year on from setting up a daily feeding programme for 350 students, conclusive proof was delivered to show that it was working
A local health visitor had been conducting arm measurements on the students to monitor their health across the year and it was found that the vast majority of the children are getting bigger and stronger.
There are also a number of other long term benefits:
- Attendance at the school has risen and 30 more students are now regularly attending.
- Sickness has fallen and is now hardly heard of.
- Truancy was very high before the programme started but it has now come to an almost complete stop.
- Grades have improved. Instead of worrying about how they will eat their concentration is much better and students can focus for longer.
Jay Drackford, Stevenage FC PA Announcer, Community Leisure Services Manager at Marriotts School and Trustee of the Gambia Project says it was an emotional trip.
“The students and volunteers that went out with us on the trip were simply amazing. We laughed, worked and all cried together out there.
“I have been going out there for over 20 years now but this is the fifth trip we have run and I never thought we would be able to do so much in such a short space of time.
“Through events and donations we have been able to change the lives of 350 children so it is unbelievable really. I would just like to thank everybody that has donated or helped in anyway.”
Please visit www.gambiaproject.co.uk to donate and support the project.