The latest news from
GETS in Gambia

 

  

   
     
Week ending 20th  November 2020

We've just finished the rainy season (or sometimes the "Green Season" to the holiday industry) when everything that grows erupts almost overnight to cover every patch of soil or sand in The Gambia. Our Caretakers help to maintain our environment to make sure that the areas are free of vegetation (and hence wild life) for children to play in.
The picture shows our caretaker, Burama Sanneh, cutting back one of the trees in the playground area.

Our Skills Training students often pose for a photo shoot as these students did in our Maths and English classroom.

Each year we train the staff in a First Aid one day course and the students in Skills 3 in a longer Certified First Course with the help of First Aid 4 Gambia (See www.facebook.com/FirstAidforGambia ).

We have worked with Bill Nelson and Momodou Laineh for many years now but Bill has also sent along a new trainer called George Carruthers, seen below with "Flat Stanley". Flat Stanley has come to Gambia from Inveraray Primary School and has been sending back blogs about his trip down to some of his fans.

 

 

 

Practising slings -

Momodou showing bandaging -

Momodou showing the recovery position-

Our thanks go out to First Aid 4 Gambia for this help and all the advice and free restocking of our first aids supplies over the many years that we've worked together. The staff and students really enjoy this training and get a lot from it.

In Nursery 1 our youngest children at 3 to 4 years old are learning about school with their new teacher, Mrs Sally Ceesay. They have had their tables spaced out for them but I guess they don't really understand why.

     
Week ending 13th  November 2020

One of the things that we did at the start of term was to provide visors to all staff as an alternative to the cloth mask. These are sometimes preferred in hotter climates but observing the necessary COVID-19 protocols at all times if not easy. Mr Jaiteh from our Lower Basic has been helping us in Skills with teaching English and Maths whilst are currently recruiting to fill a vacancy. We are very pleased that Mr Jaiteh has done this to help us. Thank you!

The Nursery children are not required to wear face coverings, unless parents say otherwise. They are shepherded into smaller class groups by teachers to queue for food, eat and play each break-time, which is not easy.

Children still need to let off steam in breaks, perhaps even more at the moment due to physical restrictions in class but they adapt well, as the Lower Basic girls are showing here.

 

Our Library is a great resource, managed by Sainabou Sambou, our Librarian. Skills Training students are enjoying reading from our vast range of books, in this picture.

 

Some GETS supporters sponsor children at other schools within the Kombo  areas. here are some of these students coming to get their school fees.

Rabiatou Jarra, sponsored by
 Mike Moran and Angela

 

Ousman Kanteh, sponsored by
 Ed Holder

 

Momodou Alieu Jallow, sponsored by
Rudy and Yolande Nachtegaal

 

Yassin Jasseh, sponsored by
Christina Royle 

 

Njange Mbye, sponsored by
Tonie and Valmai Holt

 

Mohammed Saidykhan, sponsored by
   Roy Hockaday

 

                                                                                                                

     
Week ending 6th  November 2020

This week is our first full week in school and we're feeling our way with all the Protocols that we've implemented regarding COVID-19. Everyone is trying but some forget, as is to be expected.

We've managed to get hold of some extra tables to make sure that all classes had children properly separated.

These tables came from friends of ours at another charity school in Busumbala called LKT - Meridian, part of the Lisa Kent Trust charity (see www.lisakenttrust.org ). We often swap ideas and help each other and GETS is very grateful for the help at this difficult time.

 

 This photo shows one of our Lower Basic classes with good separation between children.

 

 

Teachers are also careful to add extra ventilation as Yassin Jammeh is doing here in LB3. She is also working well in front of the closest child.

 

In the playground the children are encouraged to stay in class bubbles to minimise the possibility of cross contamination. Really hard to keep this all up within the school at Sunrise but very important.

 

 

GETS sponsors some children at other schools within the Kombo  areas. These students are coming into get their school fees, always paid with a cheque to their school bank. This generates a lot of admin which is why we are having to reduce this workload in future, to focus on operations at Sunrise. 

 Adama Dem
(helped by Wendy and Philip Pulling)

Isa Bah
(helped by Dave and Mary Robinson)

 

Amie Ntul
 (helped by Chris Humphries)

Ida Joanne Tamba
(helped by Joanne McIntyre)

 

Isatou A Jallow
(helped by Jacqui Barlow)

Kebba Ceesay
(helped by Barbara Griffiths)

     
Week ending 30th  September 2020

We have followed the advice from the Education Ministry concerning Covid-19 protocols for re-opening the Sunrise School on 28/10 (closed since mid March).

 

 

 

 

This has been a massive undertaking, with fumigation of the whole school, extra cleaning, obtaining and separating the desk layouts, Covid posters and of course checks at the gate; masks (except for the youngest), temperatures and hand-washing made compulsory.
Of course the hardest thing is still to do - training and getting staff and students to comply.

Covid is affecting the Gambia too, sadly. The airport and boarders are now re-opening and everyone is hopeful that the currently low levels of inflection will stay that way.

On top of all of this our water and electricity back-up systems both failed during the break and had to be repaired. (New expensive batteries and a new float switch required).

Anyone who thinks that you can put something together to help in The Gambia just once is in for a surprise!

GETS AGM - Quite Different this year

We met as usual to do our AGM in early September but had to use Zoom because the COVID-19 Pandemic prevented our normal social interactions.
We had many of our usual supporters try this new technology but we'd have loved to see a few move, of course.

Tony and Sue were able to travel to Dawn and Paul's house in South Wales to meet up with our remaining Trustees, with Helen dialling in to support us from The Gambia.