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GETS in Gambia

 

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Week ending 12th October 2018

One night this week we had a strong wind with a thunderstorm so next morning there were huge puddles everywhere. The wind blew the rain into our hall leaving a big puddle. By the time I got my camera out nearly all of it had been swept out! The oyster shells have been a great help, last year we had to walk through mud and pools of water to get into the building after heavy rain.

Often it feels cooler after a storm, but it is still very hot and sticky. However, everywhere is green and the plants and flowers are flourishing. Visitors to Sunrise are welcomed by these flowers by the entrance. It is nearing the end of the rainy season and the paintwork has suffered as usual!

One of our caretakers is a keen gardener and he has planted some maize in a spare corner of the school.

Two trees have also been planted to give some shade. This one, where  PE lessons take place, has been given a cage both to help it to grow upright and to protect it from damage by footballs and other hazards. We hope it will grow tall and strong like the tree in the background.

 

 

The other tree has been planted in the middle of the playground,  protected by a wall which will provide seats in the shade when the tree gets bigger.

Even in this heat, the boys can be seen in the background playing one of their ball games - whilst the bigger boys are energetically chasing after a football on the sports area the other side of the school.

As part of their Hospitality course Skills were learning the correct way to lay a table this week - only one cup got broken in the process! Many of the skills students hope to eventually get a job working in a restaurant, either waiting at table or in the kitchen.

We are pleased to welcome Ramatoulie back in the office at Sunrise. It is always good to have a cheerful face ready to deal with visitors. It is amazing the amount of paper work involved even running a fairly small school like Sunrise.

     
Week ending 5th October 2018

Apart from one vacancy in Grade 5, our classes are now all full,  and all are settled into their new classes with a new teacher.

Lower Basic listening to one of their teachers in assembly

 

Nursery 1  all happily clapping with Mbacho. Next day they were jumping on the spot, counting 1, 2 - not all stopping on 2 of course!


We now have the results of the National Assessment Tests that Grade 5 had to take this June. All the Grade 5 pupils in Gambia had to sit these exams on the same day with invigilators not from their own school.  The pass mark is 40% and a chart showing the results has to be displayed in every school showing the percentage of boys and girls achieving the pass mark.  We set Sunrise a target, we aimed for at least 80% of the pupils achieving a pass! We nearly made it but not quite. Only 72% of the girls gained passes in maths and only 67% of both boys and girls gained passes in science - Grade 5 is the first year they start to learn science.
Next year it will be the turn of Grade 3 to sit the National exams.

     
Week ending 28th September 2018

School reopened on 24th September, but Sunrise was a busy place the week before that! The parents of students already at Sunrise were coming in to collect the material needed to make new school uniforms and other parents were coming to see if there was a place for their child at Sunrise. Every September there is a new intake of 3-4 year olds for Nursery 1 and these places were soon filled. We restrict our class sizes to 30 students in both the Nursery and the Lower Basic school so it is 'first come first served' and many parents leave it too late and have to be disappointed.

Some GETS supporters sponsor students at schools other than Sunrise and these students were bringing in their school reports and a thank you letter for their supporters. They were also bringing in their school bills for the next year, as these have to be paid in the first weeks of the new school year or the schools send the children home until the fees are paid!

When they come into Sunrise Helen takes a photo of them and that is emailed to each sponsor together with the student's report and thank you letter. Here are just four of the externally sponsored students who came into Sunrise.

Saikou Tamba is in Grade 5
at Greatland School

Momodou Alieu Jallow is in
Grade 6 at Brufut Lower Basic

Rabiatou Jarra is in Grade 9
 at New Covenant school

Her older sister, Tida,
is in Grade 11
at SOS Senior Secondary school

 

Followers of our blog will know that, this was the first year that students graduated from Grade 6 at Sunrise Lower Basic and had to move on to an Upper Basic school. As many of Grade 6 had been at Sunrise since staring in our nursery, it was sad to see them leave after many years at Sunrise. Nine of the thirty LB6 students had been sponsored and five of these sponsors wanted to continue sponsoring that student, here is one of them, Florian Gomez.

Florian came to show us her new school uniform, for as she comes from a Christian family she had chosen to go to St Therese's Upper Basic The other four sponsored students have started at Kotu Upper Basic and we hope to hear more about them soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Give as you Live has raised over 8 million pounds for charities since it started in 2010

GETS are registered with Give as you Live and have been showing the logo on our webpages since September 2016.

The records show that we have only eight supporters using Give as you Live - can we increase this number?

 Over 4,000 online retailers will give a percentage of your purchase to GETS if you register on this page - https://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/gets

The percentage is only small - but 'many a mickle makes a muckle' from the old Scots misquoted saying! Every penny counts!

After registering with the site you can download a donation reminder button for Chrome which can take you  to the shop you want to visit. If you forget to shop through using this button a reminder will pop up on every site which is part of the scheme asking you if you want to raise money for GETS.

If you have an iphone or an ipad you can download an app which will give you easy navigation to your favourite stores with a fast and intelligent browser enabling you to shop faster on-the-go.

If you don't use Chrome, ipad or iphone just type  https://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/gets into your usual browser - you can still use Give as you Live

Hopefully, next time I log into our charity account with Give as you Live there will be many more than eight supporters!

 

     
Annual General Meeting  - September 1st 2018 - Lichfield

Our AGM this year was held at Lichfield - many thanks to Chris and Steve Humphries for organising the venue for us. We like to try different areas for our AGMs in the hope of attracting new attendees, so if you know of a suitable venue in your area do let us know.

Most people consider AGMs boring so we make a great effort to make ours interesting, we start off with a light lunch -

Powerpoint presentations on screen are able to show many photos of GETS activities of the past year, so there are no long boring reports!

 

Officers and trustees have to be elected at each AGM. The officers are the same as last year, Chairman -Tony Nelson, Treasurer - Paul Webster and Secretary - Sue Nelson.  Pat Taylor and Dawn Webster were re-elected as Trustees, but Barry Young did not stand for re-election. 

Tony is seen here with Barry, as, after thanking him for the valuable help he gave  whilst a trustee, Tony gave him a small (but welcome!) gift.

If you think you would like to help GETS by becoming a Trustee we would be delighted to hear from you.