Easter holidays 2015
Some photos taken just before the end of
term, we hope to show more progress after the holidays.
Entrance to new skills
classroom above and the opposite side below.
New nursery wing
School re-opens on
Monday April 13th
Week ending 27th March
Next term Lower Basic 3 will sit the
National Assessment tests in English, Mathematics and Integrated
Studies so this week they had a mock exam under exam conditions
to prepare them for the real thing. It is a multi choice exam
and they have to shade in the letter they believe is the correct
answer on a separate sheet from the question paper, you can see
the girl at the front doing this. Like many Gambians, she is
obviously feeling cold!
At the end of the week the Lower Basic
visited the museum in Banjul, seen here in the grounds waiting
to go inside.
The museum is packed with
interesting artefacts. Below Mr Beyai is telling them about this
Here is Mrs Cham explaining
more about this display and then asking them questions about it.
If you have been to The
Gambia, you might have seen someone dressed in one of these
They saw the oldest well in The Gambia -
here Mr Beyai is telling them more about its history.
Taking notes ready to
answer questions when she gets back to school!
Mrs Jawara with her group.
After all that
concentration they were ready for lunch -
Then time to play in the
22nd July playground before returning to Bakoteh.
Week ending 20th March
The week ended with the nursery trip to
Bijilo monkey park followed by fun on the beach. But before they went, lunch had to be
prepared for everyone, then packed ready to take on the
After being welcomed by the
staff, they were given information about the park and the things
they could see there.
They were fortunate to see
a rarely seen red monkey - and many more monkeys!
This one seemed very interested in the
Arriving on the beach -
Time for some fun in the
and some games on the beach
then a little rest -
before dancing -
and going back to Bakoteh
after a very busy day!
Week ending 13th March
Here is Ijeoma Nwagbaraocha from Nursery
2 is helping to clear up the hall after the nursery have had
their breakfast during morning break. Soon she will have to
learn how to spell her name!
Chris and Steve found some time to relax
after helping at Sunrise.
There was a mufti-day this
week with beautiful many coloured traditional costumes - all the
tribes are proud to show off their traditional dress.
Here is Fatou Cham
explaining to Grade 3 Lower Basic the tasks she is setting for
their PE lesson on that day. Behind her you can see the bantaba
where the skills students do their cookery lessons - the other
half of the bantana is used for batik and tie and dye lessons.
Week ending 6th March
Mr Bah has been visiting the third year
students as they are all out on attachment this term. Our
new administrator, Ramatoulie, is able to drive so, has been
taking him to visit them - in Helen's new Suzuki! Their
employers fill in a record book reporting on the student's
performance and attitude to work during the time of the
attachment and many are fortunate to be given work with them on
graduating from Sunrise. Momodou Fatty, here below, has been
working at 2Rays restaurant on the highway. 2Rays regularly
give one of GETS students a work placement and we thank them for
Meanwhile the first and second year
skills students are continuing with their usual timetable.
Below, two of the students are showing off the attractive batik
material which they have produced.
When not out visiting the third
years Mr Bah continues to teach English and Maths, using the
Lower Basic classroom, but looking forward to having his new
classroom in the skills extension next September.
Here is our hardworking volunteer,
Steve, busily painting chairs with GETS on their backs - he must
feel it is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, for almost as
soon as he finished labelling all the chairs sent out in the
first container, we sent out hundreds more in the second one.
Note the coffee cup ready to hand!
Week ending 27th February
At the weekend we were able to have a
table at an event held every month by an ex-pat, in return for
10% of our takings going to her charitable organisation. Items
made by our skills students were sold and a clear profit of
D4,125 was made.
Many thanks to Helen, Denise, Johnny,
Angela and Ruth for giving up their Saturday afternoon to do
this! Ruth is hoping to make a sale above - below Helen
and Angela are sharing a laugh - that's a rag rug on Angela's
head, not a new hairstyle!
The skills students are also having fun
on the sports area which was funded by the Driffield RAF Cadets
following fund raising events organised by Angela.
The girls seem as keen on
football as the boys!
Christopher Hill and his mother, Tracy,
were on a return visit to The Gambia and Sunrise this week. Here
they are with their friends, Jane Derry and Joe Cherry.
Christopher. standing next to Denise, has recently started at
university and hopes to continue fund raising for GETS there,
just as he did so successfully at school.
Nursery I learning sounds
with their teacher, Sally.
This week Sunrise said goodbye to one of
our regular volunteers, Ruth McMeecham, who has spent the last
three weeks helping in the Lower Basic school. In these photos
she is in Lower Basic Grade 1 with their teacher, Kaddy Jawara.
We hope she will be back soon.
Week ending 20th February
Only three days at school this week, as
Thursday and Friday were public holidays celebrating the 50th
anniversary of independence for The Gambia.
We had visitors from Lincoln this week,
Steve, Alex, Matty and Helen Bogan, seen here in nursery 1
classroom with Mbacho.
Fatou Sally Ceesay, our
nursery 1 teacher, returned to Sunrise at the start of this term
after her maternity leave. Everyone was pleased to meet the new
addition to her family, Sulayman.
We heard this week that our Lower Basic Grade 2 teacher,
presently on maternity leave, has had a son and that both are
Building work continues and if all goes as
planned, the nursery extension will be ready for use in
This means that we will be able to have three nursery classes,
as is usual in The Gambia. For those not used to the Gambian
educational system, their nursery education corresponds to
infant education in the UK, so their Nursery 1, 2 and 3
correspond to Reception, Class 1 and Class 2 in the UK.
The new skills classroom is
also well on the way, so that our new buildings will have roofs
before the start of the rainy season. Mr Bah will be able to
leave his temporary home in the Lower Basic building and teach
English and maths in his new classroom next September.
Week ending 13th February
Quite a a few changes to report this week!
We have two new teachers at Sunrise, Jaiteh Ceesaynding, the new
Skills teacher who is teaching sewing and needlework skills and
Edrissa Beyai who is teaching Lower Basic Grade 2 whilst their
teacher, Fatima Darboe, is on maternity leave.
Ramatoulie Ceesay has been appointed as
administration officer at Sunrise, and will work in the
office with Helen.
Due to recent
health problems Helen has decided to retire as a Trustee of
GETS, however she will continue to administer the charity in The
Gambia. The trustees are greatly saddened by her decision but realise that her health has to come first. Nothing will change
at Sunrise, for Helen was administering the charity in The
Gambia for a long time before she agreed to become a Trustee.
engrossed in learning to blend three letter words.
Ken Duesbery, who has supported GETS for
many years, brought his friends Helen and Stuart Clarke, Susan
and Daniel Jones, and Jean Peterson to visit Sunrise again,
bringing a big bag of resources with them.
Some of the lettuces grown
in our garden on the way to be sold in the local market.
Lettuces grow well in the Sunrise soil - they are our best crop
The week finished with
the annual Ebbeh Day -
lots of food, lots of drink, lots of dancing, lots of noise
(you can see the huge speakers at the far end of the hall)
and lots of fun!
Ina Bakker and Chris
Humphries in the midst of it all!
Week ending 6th February
Some of the Sunrise and London Corner staff
had a first aid training course on Saturday, run by First Aid 4
They enjoyed the practical
sessions and proudly show below the certificates they received
at the end of the day.
Our visitors this week were
Giles and Judy Pepler from Bagillt who donate to our Sponsor a
Class project. There are seen here, in the Lower Basic class
which they sponsor, smiling while the class teacher, Fatou Cham,
introduces them to the class.
If you want to know more about Sponsor a
Class, click here!
Click to see Sunrise students needing
can you help them?
In September the present Grade 3 will
become Grade 4 and need new text books. We have started buying
them already and Chris Humphries has been very busy covering
them with sticky back plastic so that they will keep clean and
This week the skills have been doing a
practical batik printing exam in the bantaba.
One of the finished pieces of cloth -
Nursery having a PE lesson-
Week ending 30th January
Our visitors this week at Sunrise were Alan
Johnson and his daughter Denise, who have been supporting
students through GETS for many years now. It was Alan's first
visit to Sunrise and he was delighted to see for himself all the
developments taking place at Sunrise.
The garden is flourishing, thanks to
regular attention from our skills students and teachers. The new
watering cans are being well used!
Some students have made signs to show the
area in the garden for which they are responsible.
Two nursery girls carefully
inspecting their break-time snack! That day they had fish and
spaghetti in bread. All the nursery children are given a
snack and a drink at break.
Some of the Lower Basic
students also enjoying their morning break.
Eric, our builder, checking on progress
before going to the UK for a family wedding.
Week ending 23rd January
Chris and Steve Humphries are on holiday in
The Gambia again and Steve was straight back into his usual job
of painting! This 'before and after' picture shows how the paint
wears away as the wind blows the sand against the wall.
Meanwhile Chris was on
another of her regular jobs, sorting out cupboards. This
cupboard contained items made by the skills students which could
be sold to help raise funds for Sunrise.
Here is Boubacarr doing one of his regular
jobs - repairing and maintaining all the sewing machines used by
the skills sewing classes
No concrete mixers for our builders! They
mix it by hand and wheelbarrow it round to where it is needed.
Round the other side of the building, two
of the workmen are starting to lay the concrete for the floor of
the new skills classroom.
Floor laid, the walls of
the nursery extension are beginning to rise.
Obviously all this building work causes a
great deal of additional dust throughout the whole Centre and we
are all looking forward to when it is finished!
Week ending 16th January
Helen is back! Everyone was pleased
to see her back in Sunrise after her successful hip replacement
operation in the UK. However as soon as she walked into the
office she was dealing with a problem. She was told that during
the weekend there had been a big bang and all the Sunrise
electricity went off. An electrician had been called but said
the problem was with the main NAWEC supply, so here is Helen on
the phone starting to sort it out!
Everyone coming into the Centre is used
to washing their hands by the gate before going into the
building. Gibbi, or one of the other watchmen, dip a mug into
the the cleansing mix and pour it over the hands, then rinse it
off by dipping the mug into a bucket of clear water and
pouring that over the hands.
Over the weekend a
compactor was hired to tamp down the bases of the new
classrooms. Building proceeds despite the usual shortage of
material that seems to occur regularly, one week the builder is
saying he can't get sand, another week he can't get stones,
another week it's cement in short supply. However, they are now
able to start making bricks again.
The garden is flourishing
under the care of Mr Bah and the skills students. They have
grown many useful crops and discovered that some seeds grow
better than others in our soil. Lettuce, onions, peppers and
carrots are growing well, but tomatoes haven't been a success so
Fatou Sanneh is laughing as
she shows how happy she and her class are with the extra room in
her classroom. There is now room for everyone to walk round in
between the tables without someone having to move to let them
by! Originally the classroom finished this side of the white
beam you can see in the ceiling - the old external wall so you
can see from the children sitting at the tables what a
difference the extension has made to her classroom.
The third year skill students are out on
work placements this term to gain practical experience in
working environment and conditions. It is always a problem to
find places for them all as the hotel school students are out on
placements at the same, but, after a lot of effort, by our staff
places were eventually found for every one of our third year
Many of them are working in restaurants
so in order to gain some knowledge of what will be expected of
them, they practise laying tables and serving 'customers' during
their second year skills classes.
Week ending 9th January
The big news is that Mr Darboe and Fatou
Sanneh are both delighted with the extensions built onto their
classrooms during the school holiday.
It may may look small in width but it
has made a huge difference to the space inside the classrooms.
Besides external students coming in to
collect cheques for their term 2 fees we had several more
visitors this week. The first ones were Angela Guilfoyle and her
son Callum. After their tour of the school Callum spent some
time doing maths with Lower Basic Grade 3!
Liz and Jim Coyle, who have supported
GETS for several years, visited the family of the girl they
sponsor at Seino Primary School then brought a very welcome cash
donation for Sunrise Centre.
A surprise visitor was Dave England on his
first visit to The Gambia. He saw the GETS website a few days
before leaving home so came to find us! Dawn and Paul were still
showing visitors around Sunrise so Denise told him about Sunrise
whilst he waited for his tour! As you can see in the photo,
before he left Dawn told him about our Sponsor a Class
initiative for people who would like to support GETS work at
Two Sponsor a Class supporters of
Sunrise, Karl and Kare Jackson, knowing Dawn would be coming to
Sunrise this term sent her some classroom resources to bring out
to Sunrise. Two of their gifts can be seen below where Fatou
Sanneh is telling Nursery 2 the story of "Room on a Broom"
before showing them the DVD.
The builders are getting on with the two
The new Nursery classroom and toilets -
The new skills classroom -