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As Sunrise expands we will need more funds to run the centre - could you help us by sponsoring a class?
Week ending 10th November

We had our first set of Tourists (since the season had formally opened this week). Eleonore and Roy from Holland are pictured presenting pens to Alkali Cham. Neither have visited Gambia previously but Erica Wren came across them in Senegambia and invited them along.

We also had our mums and their babies come to see us and pose for pictures.

Mr Saidy (LB5 teacher). his wife, Amie and baby Mariamma

Fatoumatta Darboe (teacher of LB2) and baby Bintou.

The babies were both asleep during the visit and seemed very content. Our visitors also took turns with holding Bintou! 


Also visiting were Jade and Franki from UK. Jade’s partner, an ex-student of ours, Modou Fatty, suggested the visit.


Jade and Franki with Mariamma


Jade and Franki brought balloons for the children and their teachers showed them how to make rockets!


Later Tony visited N3 to see Binta Jammeh managing the class with a singing DVD playing for the children called “A Day Full of Surprises”.

Binta is one our recent appointments as a full time classroom assistant, after helping us last year with cover when the Nursery teachers maternity leave.


Week ending 3rd November

Tony took pictures of each of the classes in the school, making up near 400 children and young people. The teachers all joined their classes, if they were available.

Lower Basic 1 with Mr Williams and Penda

Lower Basic 2 with Sulayman

Lower Basic 3 with Mr Beyai

Lower Basic 4 with Mrs Cham

Lower Basic 5 with Mr Saidy and Fatamata Singhateh

Lower Basic 6 with Mr Jaiteh


Nursery 1 with Mbacho  

 Nursery 2 with Aunty Sally and Mama

 Nursery 3 with Fatou Sanneh and Binta

Skills Training 1

Skills Training 2 with Mr Bah and Fatou Nyassi

Skills Training 3 with Mr Darboe







Week ending 27th October

In this Grade 4 maths class Kaddyjatou Ceesay had her hand up to be the first to finish the work set so Fatou Cham came round to mark it - all correct - well done, Kaddyjatou! 

In Nursery 1 Kaddy Jawara was introducing the idea of one to one correspondence when counting numbers up to four. She is helping Mariama touch each object as she says the number. The class can all rattle off the numbers -1,2,3,4 - but linking each number to an object  - this is a great step forward in their understanding of numbers.

In Nursery 2 they are also working on one to one correspondence, but now using numbers up to ten, touching each bottle top counter as they say the number.

Practising waitressing skills in the bar and restaurant class in the hall


Our cookery teacher, Alimatou, has recently been taking a 'Cookery and Pastry' course at The Gambia Hotel School so is always looking for new ideas for different cakes that her students could make.  This week they tried a recipe for coconut tarts.

Taking turns at whisking - no electrical mixers here!

Making them look attractive - then into the oven they go.

Week ending 20th October

This week we received the results of the National Assessment Test taken by our Grade 3 in June this year. National Assessment Tests are taken throughout Lower Basic schools in The Gambia every year, the grade tested alternating yearly between Grade 3 and Grade 5. The Ministry of Education's minimum target is that 20% of both boys and girls achieve a mark of 80% or above while 80% of both sexes achieve a pass rate of 40% or above. As you may guess from the graph showing the results that has to be displayed on school notice boards, we were pleased with our results.

The electricity supply in The Gambia is very unreliable, tourists are used to everything suddenly going black when they are eating their evening meal in a restaurant and know they just have to sit and wait until someone goes to switch on the hotel/restaurant generator. Mains power can be off for many hours and In a busy school like Sunrise, power and internet is essential. We have had a small solar system for some time now but have recently added to and improved it because of the long days without mains power. This is the new inverter in the office with two large batteries under the table below it. 

Yassin Jasseh, one of our Lower Basic classroom assistants, has gained a place at Gambia College on their Primary Teaching Certificate course. Previously this course has been held over three years during school holidays, but is now a full time course taking place over two years. This has meant that we had to appoint a temporary assistant to take her place whist she is away at college. Penda Jallow, below, has been appointed to cover Yassin's absence. Penda graduated from our Skills Training this July and won the prize for the best overall student of that year.

Penda in Grade 4 classroom, helping one of the boys with his maths.

An action shot of Lower Basic 2 girls during a PE lesson - with Mr Darboe's motorbike parked outside his classroom!


A daily visitor is the breadman, delivering to the kitchen for Susan to prepare breakfast for students and staff at break time. Every time we come to Gambia we see more motorbikes!

A visitor this week was Bakary Saidy's wife with her new baby girl. Bakary is our Grade 5 teacher, just returned from paternity leave, ready to prepare his class for their  NAT exams next June.

Mr Darboe's skills class have been finding a use for all the bits of paper from the paper shredder in the office.

When thoroughly dry they will paint and decorate their finished items.


Now the new school year has started school fees are due, more parents are finding it hard to pay the fees but want their child to stay at Sunrise so ask for sponsorship.  Zaineb's parents have not been able to pay the term 1 fees, which includes two uniforms, so although she is now in Lower Basic 1, she is still wearing her last term's yellow nursery uniform, whilst all the rest of her class are in the red Lower Basic uniform. There are now nine of our students on the Students asking for Sponsors page of our website - click here to see them. Can you or a friend help any of them?

Week ending 13th October

This week Mr Cham asked his brother's wife to come in to Sunrise and show our skills students some of the things she had made from recycling different material Below you can see the necklace, ring and bag made from recycled metal foil and silver paper, also a board displaying various insects made from pins, nutshells and thread.

Below she is showing them her bracelet, made from the ring pulls of  cans of drinks etc.

Other visitors this week were Liesbeth and Adam from Holland. They aked their tourist taxi driver to take them to visit a local nursery school and ended up at Sunrise, where they really enjoyed seeing the children.

This week the skills cleared all the waist high vegetation growing in our garden area. In the past students have successfully grown many vegetables and salad plants which have been used in the school kitchens. When, unfortunately, the garden was overrun by termites, activities in the garden ceased. Last weekend, the compound was sprayed to get rid of these pests, who had also managed to get into the roof of Mr Bah's classroom! There is a lot of hard work ahead, if the garden is to flourish again.

To be burnt - in case there's any lurking termites!


Skills 3 were doing one of their practical cookery sessions, using the bantaba and the area around it for cooking outside on the local charcoal stoves.

Week ending 6th October

This week Skills 3 have had practical assessments on work using beads. Below you can see one using beads to make a decoration on a garment she has sewn whilst another is putting bead decoration onto a flip flop sole to make a sandal.

These two students are using tiny beads to make a framed representation of the Sunrise badge, I think this will be quite a long task!

You can see the different ways they used beads imaginatively to create their project for this assessment, displayed on a table in their classroom by the first to finish their work.


Mr Darboe has just bought some wooden stamps for his classes to use when making batik patterns - we look forward to seeing some interesting results!


As our present Grade 6, most of whom started with us in Nursery 1, progressed through the Lower Basic school they started a new grade using the next spare classroom available. As this term they have now reached Grade 6 we have all six grades in our Lower Basic school, so no longer have a spare classroom. A spare classroom had always been used by Paul Badjan, for teaching the small number of Christian children in each class, whilst the Islamic teacher taught the rest of the class in their own classroom.  Paul's new teaching area is the old office, now with shelves for storing sewing material etc. We cannot make this area all dusty with a chalk board, so a whiteboard has been purchased and will be hung on the wall opposite the shelves.


Our nursery children are looking smart in their new uniform as they line up after their breakfast break.

All the Skills and Lower Basic classes are now enjoying using the library every week. They are timetabled to come in small groups and Sainabou, our library assistant, hears them read, helping any who find reading difficult. Skills 2 are using the library in this photo.

This week Ruth had to go back to the UK after spending three weeks helping at Sunrise. She has been a great help in the office with all the administration, printing and sorting out computer problems, then also helping with hearing children read when school started. Thank you, Ruth!

Week ending 29th September

The end of the first week of the new academic year!  Parents who came to Sunrise this week wanting to register their child, had to be told that they had left it too late, there were no more places available and we already had a waiting list for lower basic and nursery places.

New school year, new uniform. The nursery now have yellow check material, the boys brown trousers are the same as before.

The Lower Basic now have a small red check -

The skills uniform remains the same - they learn to make the tie and die top and the skirt or trousers during their lessons here.
The class below are our new Skills intake this year - they look happy to be at Sunrise!

  We have a new teacher starting with us this year, Mr Williams. He is teaching Lower Basic Grade 1 and here he is below after school, sharpening pencils ready for the next day.

Our new nursery children have settled down well and certainly seem to be enjoying school! 

These children are only three so are learning through play,though this week they have also been learning to recognise red, blue and yellow and to make the ssss sound of a snake when then see the letter 's'

Some more N1 children busy matching the shapes to the holes in these wooden boards, here helped by Mbacho, our N1 teaching assistant. If it doesn't fit first time some of them try to hammer then into the hole with their fist! 

AGM 2nd September 2017

This year our AGM was held in Driffield, our thanks go to Angela Longoni-Sarr for arranging the venue, complete with screen and projector to enable us to illustrate the progress of the charity throughout the past year.
Our AGMs are held in different places every year to enable supporters in different areas to meet the main officials and supporters of the charity. If you would like the AGM to be in your area next year please contact us
We always provide a buffet lunch before the meeting as we know some people travel many miles to attend and this year Sue took a photo of some of the food waiting for hungry travellers.
At this AGM we were very happy to welcome a new trustee for GETS - Pat Taylor, who together with her husband, have been visiting Sunrise since 2014 and sponsor two children there. You can read more about Pat here