The latest news from
GETS in Gambia



Week ending 20th December 2019

This week we had an Indian gentleman (Sani Roy) arrive without warning to show his paper-folding skills to the children. We managed to get most of the Lower Basic children together at the end of break to watch for a little while. Sani did a great job at capturing the children's attention and made a number of decorations, including paper flowers (see insert).We bought a few of his leaflet/books to keep in the school library to allow further practice after he left.

 We've been working on a project to improve our Lower Basic water supplies. The pictures show blocks being brought (by donkey cart) to frame a subterranean storage tank.

This tank collects water from the public supply, usually running at very low pressure and a pump lifts the water to our storage tank, high in the LB roof space in the early hours of the morning each day, when pressure is often better. Strong gates keep out any unauthorised people.

 We bought in another gift from a supporter, Jenny Hooper. Jenny sent us woollen jumpers for our smallest children for cold days. The picture shows teacher Mrs Sally Ceesay handing these out to the children who are most needy.

Jenny also sent us some wool, knitting needles and crochet hooks to be used in sewing. Our librarian (Sainabou Sambou) and our sewing teacher (Fatou Nyassi) are looking through these kind gifts. Thank you Jenny.  


Sports Day at the Sunrise Centre is always very hectic and the staff put in a tremendous amount of effort to make things go to plan (or as near as possible!).

The programme sets out an ambitious list of events to take place at the sports field about 500 yards South-west of Sunrise Centre.






The pictures show the staff had printed "Staff" Tee shirts and most pupils wore Kunda (House) colours and Sunrise Tee shirts. These are all sold by the PTA towards school funds.


There was a PA system used to keep control and play music too! Mr Ali Bah had a lead role in organising everyone with Mr Ousman Jaiteh and Mr Sulayman Jobe as event starters. The skills students took responsibility for collecting results and presenting the scores.

Three legged race

Potato and spoon race

 Girls 200m race -looks as if the winner (mostly out of sight) had a clear lead! 

and the final result announced by Mr Bah. . . . .

1st          Red house          332 points

2nd        Blue House         320 points

3rd         Yellow house     288 points

4th         Green House     260 points

Many of the events were captured on camera and also the celebrations too. Afterwards a feast back at Sunrise.

Week ending 13th December 2019

As we move towards the end of Term 1 there are quite a few extra activities both inside and outside of the classroom.

Nursery 1 were watching their teacher, Mrs Sally Ceesay, make them hats before posing for a photo. They all look great in their “Christmas” hats.

 Later in the week we had a Girls Skills Football competition. They collected a small amount of cash from students as a prize fund to go with the winner's cup.

Sulayman Jobe took responsibility as referee for the competition (and there was no VAR). He also received a small cash gift for his efforts.


The results –

Match 1 – Skills 2  won 2-1 v Skills 1

Match 2 – Skills 3 won 1-0 v Skills 1

Match 3 Final – Skills 3 won 1-0 v Skills 2

Skills 3 were crowned champions.




In Lower Basic G1 the children have been competing to create the best Christmas card, to be used to send to GETS supporters this year.

 Second place (Binta Nyassi) and third place (Maimuna Sillah) cards are here



- with an extra award (to Aisha Soho) for the best Santa Claus drawing on a their card.

First place will appear next week.










Week ending 6th December 2019

In Lower Basic 1 this week the children have been working with Mr Williams to produce our 2019 GETS Christmas card. We do this every year as a competition and the winning entry is sent out to all our supporters. We had a number of great cards to look through. The children obviously enjoyed the challenge.



We have been struggling to start a new tree off in the centre of the playground and finally we have had some success with our “umbrella tree” growing strongly in the last year, producing some shade.

Tony took pictures of all of the children and young people in the Sunrise School, including the staff shown here.

The other class pictures are under the following linked pages –


Primary (Lower Basic)

Skills Training

Week ending 29th November 2019

This week Skills Year 1 have been hard at work in the Cookery Bantaba doing practical work.

The pictures show the students making coconut tarts whilst another group are cutting and rolling dough for meat pies.



Mai Baldeh is sitting with local stoves preparing to cook the meat pies.



Later in the week we had Nursery assembly where the children enjoy singing and acting out the lines to music. This is a counting song they are singing this time - 10 Little Fingers.


At break-time the children sit and eat their breakfast before playing in the play areas at Sunrise. There is always plenty of energy to lose before classes restart!

Week ending 22nd November

We now have our Grade 3 National Assessment Test results through from the exams sat last June and they are excellent, again. The graph tells the story with an overall pass-rate of 93% for boys and 94% for girls.

The performance in the Integrated Studies seems to be not quite as good and staff will consider this during the preparation for future exams.

Well done to all the Sunrise staff for helping children achieve this excellent standard.



We were delighted to receive some new reading books into our Library from Jenny Hooper. Thank you.

The picture shows our Librarian, Sainabou Sambou, deciding how to introduce the new books into the library for the children to read from during their reading, break and study periods.





We had a whistle stop visit this week from our Friend and long time fund-raiser Angela Longoni-Sarr with one of our oldest supporters (I think) Johnnie Walker. The picture shows Johnnie and Angela in the school hall. They came to see how we were doing and discuss their plans to help us in 2020.

Angela played catch with some children from Nursery on our sports floor, the building of which she organised for us.

Angela also visited the Tailoring department, posing with Ebrima Susso (Skills 1) for another picture.

Week ending 15th November

We still continue to make a breakfast for the Nursery children very day. The children are lined up at 1030 each day to collect a sandwich and a drink.
Others in school all pay a small amount for a sandwich or they buy from some of the ladies from the village who bring food in to sell.

 On Monday morning our new school cluster monitor (Ousman Sowe) came to see Mr Cham. Ousman is responsible for the 22 schools in this area, assigned for him to monitor by the Regional Education Department. We don’t often see the cluster monitor so things must be going well!

A real character who keeps popping into the office at Sunrise is the son of Fatou Sanneh (Nursery 3 teacher). His name is Musa Stephen Sanno. Today looking much older than his 3 years!

   We currently have 2 vacancies at The Sunrise Centre to be filled; one for a cleaner and the other a Caretaker position. We hope that word of mouth will help to find 2 local people to help us.

  We were pleased to meet up with Annette Taylor and her friend Maxine. Annette sponsors 2 of our students with their school fees because they would otherwise not be able to come to school. During the visit Annette gave them both gifts to enjoy, at home.

Below is Annette with Aji Takko Bah from LB3,on the left and Ndey Mboob from LB1 on the right.

Maxine and Annette also brought us pens to supplement our resources and handed then to Mr Cham, our head at Sunrise.



A friend of Annette’s in UK sent cash to help both of the families. The picture shows Mr Cham meeting Aji’s mum to hand over the money. We are delighted with all of their help. Thank you.












Week ending 8th November

Lots of practical work happening this week in our Skills Training School. Skills Year 1 were in our Bantaba learning to make Beef Pizza.

 Skills 2 were making Beef Stir-fry with pineapple and rice.



Skills 3 were doing Tie and Dye practicals




We’ve been working for sometime now to get our Classroom Assistant, Fatou Nyassi, to be accredited by NAQAA as a fully qualified teacher to replace our previous sewing teacher, who has recently left Sunrise. It was lovely to see Fatou (left) having fun with one of her friends, Nyima Sanyang, a student in Year 2. Fatou is an ex-student of our skills centre who has helped us for many years now.



Another of our ex-Students (Fatoumatta Sambou) called in to see us, this week. Fatoumatta graduated in July and is now working at a restaurant on the way to the airport, called Mymoona’s Garden. Another success story for GETS and the Sunrise Centre.




Week ending 1st November

Tony captured a great picture of our Education Director, Mr Cham, working hard at his desk. Great to see how tidy is was today! As people dump things for his attention most days this can be quite a challenge.


 School break time always creates wonderful picture opportunities. This time four youngsters were sitting eating break time snacks in the hall. This picture should really be part of a competition of “what happens next”!


Great to see one of our Nursery teachers come back to school with her ECD certificate showing that she has been successful in passing her teacher training course and is now a qualified Nursery Teacher. It’s been a challenge for Mbacho to move from Sunrise Skills Training Centre to qualified teacher and she thoroughly deserves this success.


Mr Darboe has been teaching students about using papier mache to create shapes in his handicraft lesson. This gives students a good feel of working with different materials (some for the first time) and many are very creative.


Another success story belongs to Jainaba Badjie who has graduated from G12 at Brikama Methodist School. She came to show us her certificate so that we might pass on the good news to her sponsors. Tessa and Ray Harding. Well done Jainaba!
She would like to move to do a nursing qualification next.



Back at Sunrise, the Skills Training students have been tasked with clearing the compound. This continues to be quite a challenge for us.





Week ending 25th October

One of our challenges at Sunrise is to keep the environment tidy. When we finish a break-time one of the teachers usually takes responsibility to make sure groups of children clear waste paper from the play areas. This time it was the Nursery school children who were clearing up. Here is Oumou Bah from Nursery 1 doing a great job helping us.

 The Skills Training year 3s have been cooking in practical sessions, this time they made vegetable Shawarama (a “wrap” often served as a lunch time snack).


Students really enjoy the practical work in the Bantaba. The picture shows them with a fried rice dish during the serving process.


 Later in the week the Skills 1 students made a number of dishes including Fufu (dumplings made from yams with a sauce of Superkanja -see ) and a fish dish with a spicy sauce including okra.




Week ending 18th October

Our children and students always enjoy dressing up, which happens once a term during Mufti Days. We have prizes and an award ceremony to recognise those who look particularly good.

One such pupil was someone with a very memorable name; from N3 called Marie Antoinette Da Sylva. She is pictured with teacher Kaddy Jawara.

Another pupil captured on camera in the corridor was from N2, Wurry Mbye, looking very bright and pretty in her costume.


During Friday breaktime the hall was full of everyone as usual for this event before breaking up to go into classes.



Class N1 on Mufti Day




Class N2 on Mufti Day.







Week ending 11th October

We were pleased to have two of our staff come back to school this term with new skills and certificates to prove it.  Sulayman Jobe and Yassin Jammeh both passed their Primary Teachers Certificate exams in Brikama Teacher Training College. Well done to both of them.


We now have 2 classes full of students and pupils for which Sunrise is a whole new experience. The youngest in Nursery 1 posed under our big tree with all of the teachers and assistants from Nursery. They all look a little unsure at this time!



The new Skills Training students in SK1 also stood, with their Teachers and Assistants, for a class portrait too.

 It's always fun to see new characters grow up from being shy, very small people into confident young adults. One of those who looks to be starting this journey quite early is Musa Sanno (N1 - aged 3!)




Week ending 4th October

Our sewing classes are getting under way now with our Classroom Assistant, Fatou Nyassi, continuing to help run the class since our full time Teacher isn't available to return after the summer. We hope to support Fatou to continue in this role.


  In our N3 Nursery Class, the children are having a singing lesson today.

Week ending 27th September

This week our new school year has started. We've been registering the new entrants the previous week and it's great to see that places are in great demand as usual. Our first 2 school assemblies are pictured here; one of Lower Basic and one of Nursery.


Ruth McMeechan, one of our helpers, usually supports the local staff at this time and we are delighted that Ruth has come back to help us again as we start the school up again after the summer break. Ruth has helped with sorting out text book inventories and old book replacement planning.

Ruth is also helping Sirrah Sambou, a Skills Training Year 3 student whom she is sponsoring for her final education year. Ruth and Sirrah are pictured here.
Thanks for all your help Ruth.



Attendees at GETS annual AGM held in Dunton Green, near Sevenoaks on 31st August 2019. Our supporters cover a wide area of the UK (as well as a few from Europe) so we try to hold these meetings each year in different parts of the UK  in order to give the variety of supporters a chance to attend the meetings.