Registered Charity Number: 1135446
Thank you again for your continued support for the children. Things have been going really well over the last few months; more children are being sponsored and we now have 5 children enrolled at university. I am being contacted by people who have holidayed in The Gambia and have seen the need for children to go to school. Sponsor A Gambian Child is getting very well known now in The Gambia and has a good reputation of a well run and reliable organisation. We have such a good relationship with all the schools where they children are, also the market where Mucki buys the school uniform fabric, the tailors who make the uniforms, stationers for the pens, pencils etc. We held our AGM whilst Mucki was here in October and have applied to the Charities Commission to have an amendment to the charity’s constitution for me to channel money through the charity’s account for other educational purposes in The Gambia. When this is granted I hope to set up a Just Giving site for future fundraising activities. Several people come to see Mucki at the Meet Mucki afternoon.
News of other things...
Wool - another 15 huge bags of wool, threads and fabric, plus three sewing machines arrived just before Christmas and now there are four groups of women knitting and sewing. I am forwarding some photos of some of the items which they have been making. The co-operative is becoming more sustainable now as a small amount of the sales are being used to buy materials but I still want to supply them with as much as I can, so please keep sending me supplies. The money the women earn is really valuable within their families’ lives.
Publicity – Sponsors Danny and his family have recently been to The Gambia to visit their children - see his report in an email to follow.
Parcels - the next shipment of parcels will be in April. Please send, no larger than a shoebox size parcel, to me by Friday 11th April, together with £7.00 (cheques made payable to Carol Kendall-Smith) to the ddress above. Mucki will then give the parcels to the children. Many, many thanks to you if you have done this in the past. If you only want to send a letter, that's free!!
Correspondence from the children – Mucki is trying really hard to organise school reports and letters from the children to sponsors. This is incredibly time consuming now we have so many children. We have had a think about it and realised that the most important thing is that children are going to school – Mucki checks regularly that they are, and any sort of correspondence back is a bit of a bonus. When we first started we thought it would be an important part of the charity – well it still is, but it may not be as often as we imagined it to be. Someone recently has withdrawn sponsoring her child because she felt she wasn’t hearing from her enough. She heard three times in just over a year!
Sponsor A Gambian Teacher - Mark & Emily have recently raised money to sponsor two teachers and have recently spent some time in The Mansa Colley Bojang Nursery School. They helped several children write letters to their sponsors, generally helped out in the school and visited other schools and health clinics.
Mosquito nets - 30 nets were distributed to families whilst I was there in December on the Lord Williams's School study trip. Thanks if you donated £10.00.
Fire - there was a serious fire in the compound of three of the sponsored children and everything was burnt. The family lost everything. I would like to send some money for them to replace items they lost - please send to me - details of the cheque as above.
Mucki - he is very busy! As usual! Unfortunately the ipad which someone gave him a while ago was stolen a few weeks ago. This makes communication more difficult, so he has not been able to email me photos lately. Those of you who follow him and The Mansa Colley Bojang School on facebook will have realised that there's not been much news lately.
Twins - Mucki's wife Jatou gave birth to twins in January - on his birthday in fact! A beautiful boy and a girl - they are both doing very well as is Jatou. His other two children are getting used to their new brother and sister - especially at night as they seem to be awake more then, than during the day! Doesn't last for long Mucki...!
And finally... a few words from Ian who sponsors Maimuna.....Hi Carol, I have just returned from my holiday in The Gambia and feel I must tell you and other sponsors about the joy and happiness I felt when meeting my sponsored child Maimuna again. When she saw me and smiled and the joy on the faces of the other children I was sure I was going to melt on the spot - I felt like a King! I sat with Maimuna as she did her sums and we all clapped as the teacher had given her good marks for previous work. Mucki said how much the children love to see their sponsors as they get out of school early that day! As the children left for home they all wanted to shake my hand and touch me, I felt so happy I could have cried. Sponsorship means so much to their education and their future. I had taken a few things for Maimuna, clothes, books etc - you couldn't buy the happiness you feel inside and if as a sponsor you get the chance to ever meet your child, it will mean so much to him or her and their family and of course you.
Best wishes, Carol