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Spring 2023 Newsletter

Dear Sponsor/Supporter


A lot has been going on at Helping Charity since our last newsletter. Staff on the ground in The Gambia are working hard in cooperation with UK Committee members to bring about the changes to children’s lives that we all want to see. We are busy updating our website - we will let you know when this is live. Here are some highlights of our recent activities.


Margaret and Chris Meeks’ (Charity Founders) Recent Visit to The Gambia

Margaret writes:


‘’We had not been out to The Gambia since Covid, so we were very busy meeting everyone, including our new staff at The Lodge. We had so many local people come to see us. We visited all our nurseries and discussed what we needed to do to improve with the staff. The children were all happy and progressing well. We had a day with all our sponsored university / college students, and they all were very appreciative to be given the opportunity their sponsorship provided ,as many of them were the first in the family to attend higher education.


We gave out food gifts to the most needy families, also to some sponsored children. We helped pay school fees, as some schools were late opening and also met up with a lot of sponsor families. We went to visit many schools that we support and talked to the teachers. Thanks to a generous sponsor who donated a football strip we took great pleasure in handing it out to delighted youngsters. The sponsor also paid for the team’s football boots. It was their first ever football kit. To say they were happy is an understatement."


Sponsored Student Is Now A Nurse

‘’We went to the clinic and maternity unit that we built, and I was very surprised to find that the nurse there was one of our sponsor students from a few years ago. The government had sent her to work there. I must say it made my day to see that the little girl we started sponsoring many years ago was now helping the mothers have safe births.’’ (Margaret)








Our Nurseries

Perhaps the most exciting news is that at present we are building a new classroom at Osborne Nursery where there is a waiting list for students. This takes time as every block is handmade on site, watered and turned every day until they are hard.

This is an arduous job. We were very lucky and deeply grateful to have a

large donation for this project. After this is completed, we will reinstate their lovely art area and build a covered eating area.


We are also intending to build a new classroom at Chamen Nursery as well as a covered eating area as when it is windy the sand gets in the food.


We have refurbished Chessay Ma Jaw Nursery with new windows to stop the troublesome Saharan dust getting in. They are painted inside and out. We have refurbished their toilets and dug a new cesspit as in the rains the old one was damaged.


Higher Education Sponsored Students Delighted with Generous Donation of Laptops

So many of our sponsored students are now being sponsored through college or university. We are delighted to be sending out second-hand donated laptops from generous sponsors, one of whom is going out there to set them up. Our students will be over the moon as we receive so many requests for laptops as a vital aid for their studies.


It is through education that the most important changes happen in

The Gambia. It is a privilege to see young people fulfilling a dream,

improving their lives and making an important contribution to the

economy. Our nursery children thrive due to the efforts of our

teachers.


To show our gratitude and support for them, we try to give them a

yearly bonus at Ramadan. It was very gratifying to receive this letter

of thanks from them.


Letter of thanks from teachers



Poverty in The Gambia

Already one of the world’s poorest countries, The Gambia is currently experiencing a very high rate of inflation. This is making the cost of daily necessities like food, shelter and clothing almost impossible to afford for some families. Thanks to many of our

sponsors giving extra money for food, we were able to give all our sponsor students an extra sack of rice to help them with the very high cost of food. The families were very happy to receive it.


We were also able to give all of our staff a small salary bonus. There was actual dancing in delight when they heard this news. As ever, we are so grateful for your generous donations, sponsorship and support for the people we help in The Gambia. Without your support, none of the above would be possible.


With our sincere thanks,


Margaret, Chris

and the Helping Committee.

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