30th March 2018
End of term and a very short week - only 3
days before the break for Easter. Rudy and Yolanda Nachtegaal
visited Sunrise just before the break, bringing many gifts as
usual Clocks are always useful as they seem to break down
frequently in The Gambian climate!
Helen and Sainabou were
delighted with the cuddly toys -
Sainabou had fun with the
Sunrise and the blog have
finished now until school resumes on 16th April.
Happy Easter everyone!
23rd March 2018
Lower Basic and Skills were doing end of
term exams most of this week, so there will not be many pictures
of their activities. However, I did get this photo of LB 5 with
their heads down busily writing answers to their question
Skills 1 were revising
adding and subtracting fractions before their maths exam when I
popped my head into their class.
Skills 3 are all out on
work experience this term. When doing some shopping in Marouns,
we were greeted by Fatou Ceesay who has been enjoying working in
their bakery this term so we had to take a photo!
This week Mr Cham and a
caretaker planted a tree near the skills classrooms, we hope it
will grow and provide more shade in the heat of the midday sun.
Due to the end of term
exams all the rest of the pictures are from the Nursery classes!
Below, Mbacho is helping Nursery 1 to count and match the dots
on the dominoes.
Nursery 2 were also having a maths lesson,
matching numerals with the number of dots. Sally Ceesay, their teacher, is back
from maternity leave but has Tombo on her back as she is still feeding him
Nursery 3 have moved on to more formal maths -
completing addition and subtraction sums with the help of counters - plastic
bottle tops come in very useful here!
After that hard work a bit of relaxation -
PE. A week or so ago there were pictures of Nursery 3 doing balancing exercises
on these benches, the right way up. Now they have progressed to using the
benches upside down so they have to balance on a much narrower surface.
A lot of phonic work is done in all the nursery classes
with the result that many of Nursery 3 can blend simple words and start to read
little books. Fatou is reading to Dawn here about a cat with a hat, sitting on a
mat. Dawn and Paul regretfully said goodbye to all at Sunrise at the end of this
week as it was time for them to go home to the UK.
16th March 2018
Our visitors this week were Mary Ikin, her
daughter. Louise, and her friend, Christine. Mary sponsors a boy
in Grade 11 at Gambia Senior Secondary School. Here they are
with Sainabou, our new administrator and Barry, one of our
They were shown all around Sunrise
by Fatou Sanneh, our Nursery 2 teacher. Below, Lower Basic 3 are
standing up to give their usual welcome to visitors to Sunrise.
This week there was an Open Day at Sunrise.
Many Nursery and Lower Basic parents came to see their children
at work on that day, and some also came the next day, as well!
Nursery set up a special welcome for their
visitors with a table below displaying samples of their work.
Here are some of N3 busily making
necklaces, bracelets and rings from pieces of coloured straws
for the display table.
The skills students set up several display tables around
the school showing a variety of work done in the sewing lessons.
Although not many skills parents came on
Open Day, all the other visitors were very interested to see the various
At the moment many of the skills students
are buying beads to decorate flip flops which they are then selling to their
friends and neighbours, making a profit on each sale. Maybe this has been
inspired by Mr Bah's lessons on business skills and entrepreneurship!
Lower Basic Grade 5 have been learning about the colour
wheel and how to mix colours. As it was Commonwealth Day this week and now
Gambia back in the Commonwealth, the Gambian flag was used to show that
blue and yellow make green!
9th March 2018
Our new administrator at Sunrise, Sainabou
Njie, started this week and says she is really enjoying being at
A memorable week for her as
it was also her birthday this week. The nursery sang 'Happy
Birthday' to her during their assembly!
Plants are beginning to grow in the
school garden. Rudy and Yolanda left a lot of seeds when they
visited us last, but unfortunately for us their names are all in
Cavola, Gouds Bloem, Juffertje, Peultje,
Phacelia, Rucola, Wortel, Groot Kaasjes Kruid
If anyone reading this can translate
these names, please email
tried Google translate without much success.
A visitor this week was Maureen Boyd. She
had heard about Sunrise from Chris Humphries and told her that
she would like to sponsor a child at Sunrise. Here is Maureen
with Ida Jagne, the child she chose from our website page
showing students in need of sponsors.
There are still eleven students on our
Need Sponsors page. Seven of
them are in Skills Training Two so just need help with the fees
for their final year at Sunrise. During this year they spend the
second term on work experience and many of them are successful
in getting a job when they graduate.
Can you or anyone you know spare £120 (or
£10 a month) to give them this vital chance of helping
themselves and their families?
Mr Williams has started a school choir. He asked if GETS
would buy some drums for him to accompany the choir singing We know he is not
the only one at Sunrise who can play a drum so gave him the money and off he
went, coming back with these drums in their protective coverings.
Here he is with the choir using the drums for the first
time. They practise after school on a Friday when all the other students have
Mrs Cham was teaching LB 4 about different kinds of angles
so had given them all a piece of paper.
They folded their paper carefully in half, then in half
again so that they made a right angle at the corner. Mrs Cham then gave
them a worksheet showing several different angles and then asked them to use the
folded paper to find out which ones were right angles.
Nursery 3 were having fun in PE again this week. This time
they were working on balance. First it was easy, they just walked along the
bench, but then they had to step through a hoop several times as they went
along the bench.
2nd March 2018
visiting volunteering handyman, Steve Humphries, has been adding
wire to the vertical display bookcases, to prevent the books
from tumbling off.
shows how useful this modification was.
Below, Bubacarr Jallow is busy cutting out
this material which has been tie-dyed by our skills students. As
part of their sewing curriculum, Skills 2 students sew the Sunrise
uniforms which will be needed by the new skills students starting at
Sunrise next September.
One of our
trustees, Barry Young, is at Sunrise now and he and his wife,
Barbara, met the students whom they sponsor. They went to visit
their skills student at the tailoring shop where she is on
attachment this term and here they are with Aji Sohna Mboob from
the Lower Basic.
The local welder man has been into school
this week as we had two jobs foe him. The first one was to repair the seesaw yet
again and here is Steve inspecting the repair, hoping it is third time lucky!
The second job was to make secure cage
storage under the worktops in the cookery side of the bantaba. This will give
room to store securely the large cooking pots and other large items used by the
Walking around Sunrise looking for
interesting pictures for the blog I saw Nursery 1 were learning to recognise
numerals then count the number of bottle tops to match the numeral on the card
which they had been given.
Then I saw Nursery 3 doing PE. Whilst the
boys were energetically playing football, the girls were taking turns to see who
could do the most number of skips without stopping. This little one jumped all
the way to twenty before she stopped. I wonder what their mothers said about the
white socks when the girls got home!
23rd February 2018
We had a very busy
week that culminated in an "Ebbeh Day", more later.
We are always happy
to see our friends and supporters out in The Gambia. This week
Helen met up for a meal with Ken and Jean Duesbury (on the
right) along with their friends Sue and Daniel Jones and Eleanor
and Stuart Clarke (on the left). Ken and Jean always bring us a
donation and some extra resources, for which we are very
grateful. Some of these will become gifts for Graduation prize
awards to Skills Students. Thank you.
A big event
at Sunrise is always the luncheon sale called 'Ebbeh' day
which was held on
Friday. The aim this time was to involve the skill
students to do all the shopping, preparation of the food and
costing of the sales. They did it very successfully with the
supervision of Sunrise staff. All the profits go to school
Before the event
adverts on the outside of the school showing all that was
masses of food, using great big pans full of the ingredients
-like the cassava shown here.
Many hands make light work-
Loud music was
provided, as usual, with a local D.J.
families and children, many from our school, came in to queue and pay for
tickets for food and drink.
The hall began to fill with eager customers.
were stalls in most areas of the school to sell the Ebbeh (a thick crab soup),
Chakri (sweet couscous), Wonjo (sweet cranberry-red juice made from Sorrel),
Piped Biscuits and Naan Mburu (made from the Baobab tree fruit).
Mburu was sold under the shade of the large tree.
was very much in attendance to supervise and encourage everyone.
day was deemed a success with Mr Bah declaring that we made a profit of nearly
25% on sales. Well done to all.
16th February 2018
The key event we're
publishing this week is a summary of the many, many pictures
taken of the children and students on Mufti Day. This is a
day when youngsters at Sunrise all pay a small fee, to help
school funds, to allow them to wear traditional tribal costumes
rather than their school uniforms.
A lot of effort goes
into this and certificates and prizes were given for the best
dressed in different areas of the school.
Interesting that both
costume style and material patterns relate to the tribal group.
For more information of
Tribal and Ethnic backgrounds go to -
The collage of pictures
shows the prize winners, from youngest to oldest..
Top row - Fatoumata
Ceesay (Nursery 1), Modou Lamin Mbowe (N3), Sohna Jallow (LB1),
Veronic Mendy (LB2)
Second Row - Alima
Jarjou (LB2), Fatima Jarjou (LB2), Isatou Jallow (LB3), Omar
Joof (LB4), Margaret Mendy (LB4), Isata Sey (LB5), Fatou T Cham
(LB6), Marie Manga (Sk1), Saikou Touray (Sk2)
9th February 2018
The Education Department in The Gambia (MoBSE)
are represented on the ground by their school inspectors (known
as Cluster Monitors) and over the many years helping at
Sunrise, GETS has
had the support of Mr Jarjou as our Cluster Monitor. He attended
meetings with the community and monitored our performance as
well as answering questions on a regular basis to make sure that
we got things right, as often as possible. Mr Jarjou has moved
on to another area within MoBSE now and our new Cluster Monitor,
Mr Malleh Saabali, came to see us on Monday, pictured posing
with Mr Cham (Education Director).
We were pleased to see
two more of our supporters visiting on Wednesday, Angela Gourlay
and Dean, who help us by sponsoring a class. They brought a
variety of resources including; skipping ropes, pencils, crayons
and games. They were photographed in the office with Mrs Cham
from LB4 and Mr Cham (No relation!).
have had our regular visit from Chris and Steve Humphries who
help us in so many ways, each week of their stay. They also
Selina Henson along too.
Selina is seen posing with mum Chris and
Selina seemed to
have no problem fitting in with the children, particularly in
Nursery, pictured here joining them at break for breakfast.
joining Nursery 3 in the classroom!
but by no means least, we're delighted to welcome back Ruth
McMeechan. Ruth has joined us again for an extended period,
helping teachers and assistants out and sharing her teachings
skills, acquired over a lifetime of working in education within
2nd February 2018
We were pleased to have more visitors this
week. Judy and Giles Pepler, whose Sponsor a Class donations
help us keep Sunrise running, came to see how everything was
going. It was lovely to see them, shown here with Mr Cham.
Later in the week
Helen captured a photo of Mrs Cham with her notification of
passing her Primary Teaching Certificate (attestation) which the
charity had sponsored for her at Gambia Teacher Training
College. This adds to her previously sponsored ECD qualification
a few years ago. Once again, we all congratulate Mrs Cham on her
success after all her hard work. Each teacher that we've sent to
Gambia College costs GETS more than £600 so we're really
grateful that our generous supporters have allowed us to
continue to help educate the staff at Sunrise too. We continue
to need more funds to help in this important area.
Chris Humphries has
been busy with a crochet hook again! This time it was a purse
for each child in Nursery 1. Chris' husband Steve Humphries was
there at the vital moment to capture it for us. The children
were being taught how to use a purse to keep money safe. It is
great to see Steve transfer his general handyman and painter
skills to photographer to help us with more pics for the blog.
This week the students
in Skills Training have been making spicy chicken noodles in
Cookery. The picture shows the students demonstrating the
service of this, as perhaps in a tourist restaurant.
It is easy to forget
that many people in The Gambia have never eaten in a restaurant
or eaten from an individual plate with a knife and fork. Here,
it is quite normal to eat from a common plate using just the
right hand and noodles would certainly be unusual too.
Bah, our Maths and English teacher, is seen above enjoying a
sample of the food. This is a normal treat for staff!
26th January 2018
The students in Skills Training have been
learning about the possibilities of decorating Flip-Flops. These
ubiquitous shoes were being wrapped in coloured wools. I'm not
sure how long they would last or how comfortable they were to
wear but they seemed to enjoy the challenge. It's interesting to
note that many students and pupils are wearing extra clothes
(over their uniforms) in the mornings during the cold (sub 20
deg) winter mornings!
Our friend, Buba
Jallow still comes 2 days a week to keep our aging sewing
machines running. This example seems to be a Chinese copy of the
original UK made Singer sewing machine that many people
seamstresses know so well. The students adjustments when they
feel things aren't perfect often put more problems IN to the
machines and Buba has to sort them OUT again!
girls chose to read in our library rather than go out to play
during their break.
It's great to see the
youngsters growing in confidence and enjoying school. Here
Nursery 2 pupils are lining up to leave Assembly for their class
The day this picture
was taken, Nursery 2 were singing and dancing in class with
their teacher Sally Ceesay and clearly enjoying it!
We encourage teachers
to reward good performance in various ways. This pictures shows
the pencil cases ready to go on Thursdays each week to the boy
and girl in nursery 2 and 3 who are trying the hardest. The
pencil cases are filled with colouring pencils, paper, sweets
and a balloon. They have been made, put together and given
by Chris Humphries, who helps in our school as a volunteer on
her regular visits to Sunrise.
19th January 2018
We continue to have visitors come to see
us in Sunrise which is great. On Monday it was Dave & Mary
Robinson, who have been supporters of GETS for a number of
years. They were making their annual visit to see us and catch
up on the children that they support, Cecelia Mendy & Isa Bah.
These children are at other schools in the local area. Alieu,
the children's father visited with Dave and Mary.
It's nice to see the
older Lower Basic children using the garden again, after the
Sunrise family of termites eat everything in sight last year. We
hope that spraying will have reduced the population of these
pest and the garden will thrive once again.
We had some tiles
lifting Mrs Cham's Lower Basic 4 class over the Christmas
holidays. This is a little mysterious and we hope that is just
due to expansion of different materials within the school,
rather than a sign of something more drastic. New tiles have
been applied and we will watch what happens next with some
We congratulate Mrs
Cham on successfully completing her Primary Teachers Certificate
at Gambia Teacher Training College. Although her course
completed last year, the formally recognition of her
qualification has just reached the Sunrise Office. Well done!
On Thursday, Jim and
Liz Coyle (pictured with Helen) visited Sunrise on Thursday 18th
January. They sponsor a student at a Lower Basic school on the
way to Brikama (in Busambala), called Joanna Sowe. They brought
with them a large cash gift donation, for which we are really
grateful. We have spent a lot of cash maintaining the school in
the last few weeks and this money will help with some of those
currently have 11 youngsters who all need a helping hand in our
school at the Sunrise Centre. We have checked on their
backgrounds and find they will have to leave school without your
help. Here are photos of just a few of them. GETS tries to
support education because it is the best way to help individuals
and their families find their way out of poverty.
The cost of helping an individual is just £10 a month. You will
get regular updates on progress and can always see them if you
More about sponsoring -
12th January 2018
Back to school this week after the
Christmas break. During that time the school has been free for
our painters to come in and refresh the paint on many of the
outside walls, Skills Training and Lower Basic classrooms were
painted on this occasion.
They also painted our
sports floor, between the Bantaba and and Skills Training
We also entertained a
big group of regular visitors. Pictured here (from left to
right) are Joyce Derry, Jane Derry, Christopher Hill and Tracy
Hill with our Education Director, Mr Cham.
Christopher Hill and
his mum Tracy, sponsor Sohna Jallow in LB1 and Jane Derry
sponsors Baboucarr Ceesay in Nursery 2 at Sunrise. We are also
delighted that Christopher is going to help us by feeding
information about GETS and all that we do, onto Facebook. We
hope this will get us more friends and supporters.
Some things tend to be
supersized in The Gambia, due to a super climate. The papaya
that Helen bought locally is no exception. This beast of a fruit
must represent several of her 5 a day and should last many days