The latest news from
GETS in Gambia



Week ending 26th March 2021

This marks for final 10 days of Term 2 with all the usual activities but much toned down by the need to stay socially distant as the Covid Emergency rules are still in place across The Gambia.

Vaccinations have reached the country, as witnessed by the photo of Helen having her injection after a long (7+ hours) wait. Difficult but worth it. The Gambia  are rolling out vaccination in age groups, those who have underlying health issues and for certain professions.



We always try to clean the solar panels at this time of year, with increased levels of dust likely so that although there is plenty of sun, it doesn't always reach the batteries, in the office! Omar Badgie, our DIY man to the rescue!!


The library is a precious resource that is well maintained by librarian, Sainabou Sambou, who is pictured today with our LB5 class.



Week ending 19th March 2021

Drawing patterns and sewing cloth for tie and Dye takes a lot of room so students have to find quiet corners across the school to work on their practicals.  Mariama Njie (SK1) is working in her classroom on her fabric design.

 In our Sewing room, Fatou Nyassi is working with the students on making up their patterns to complete their current projects. These are not quite at the displaying stage!


Nursery 3 are doing Creative work, quietly in their classroom.


Mrs Sanneh, supported by Mama Nabaneh, is helping the children do their drawings and hand writing.


Week ending 12th March 2021

Our girls in LB have their HPV Vaccinations today. This required a certain amount of explanations to parents since the first thought was that we were offering vaccine against Covid-19 infection (these have just arrived in The Gambia).

After some delay to meet with parents, the vaccinations to prevent Cervical Cancer (HPV) were allowed to go ahead.


Girls from LB in the correct age group who had not previously been vaccinated nervously came forward in small groups in our Hall for the Health workers to inject.




Meanwhile back in Skills Training the students were working on their material dyeing and proudly displayed their work.


Week ending 5th March 2021

This week, Sulayman Saidy, our new Office Manager, captured pictures in Nursery. The first during a Numbers session with our smallest children (in Nursery 1) writing on the blackboard.

Later he caught the N1 children looking very studious, colouring at their tables.


The Lower Basic children from LB5 have working on their cookery skills, coming out of the to use extra space in the Hall.


Sulayman also caught up the skills students dishing out their food in a cookery practical, within our Bantaba area.


Week ending 26th February 2021

Omar has been working on maintenance issues again this week. He's done a huge amount of work exploring the reason for a blockage in our Bantaba soakaway system.

The main pipe had broken and the routing to the second soakaway that we had built was also unclear, requiring a certain amount of investigation.


Omar has now put everything right and also built a drain filter (with the welderman's help) to stop pieces of fabric, etc entering the soakaway in future.

Week ending 19th February 2021

This week we welcome another new member of staff; Baboucarr Njie. Baboucarr has come to help us teach English and Maths in our Skills Training Centre. He will also help us develop our Entrepreneurial Skills course too. Baboucarr is in the final stages of a degree in Education with English Language as his major subject. Since he also has a Primary Teaching Certificate (PTC) we feel that he is ideally qualified to help us at Sunrise.



Baboucarr has been exploring the school. He is seen here in Lower Basic, interacting with the class.


Omar has been helping us again, this time with his plumbing skills, repairing a leak in the water pipes as they go into the building near the new Nursery classroom. We have been looking hard at water issues because our water bill is much higher than we would expect, in the last 2 months.


There were two days public holiday this week for Independence Day celebrations in The Gambia, so there were only three days at school.



Week ending 12th February 2021

Omar has also repaired a blown fuse on our LB water pump. This lifts stored water to the high level tank to make sure the school has some water, even when pressure is only available briefly at night.


This time is was the turn of Skills year 2 to work on preparing their tie and dye materials for the more complex patterns that our Handicrafts teacher, Saihou Darbou, had them make.

The preparation was in the bantaba area, students are shown with rubber protective gloves under instruction.


The usual posing by our drying line.

Elsewhere in Sunrise, Skills year 1 were making pancakes. Staff usually get to try the successful ones. Yum!

Week ending 5th February 2021

The Skills Training year 1 students have been sitting in the hall this week to draw out the patterns for their tie and Dye work. It's a hard surface to work on but plenty big enough and usually quite clean.

Later of course they posed next to the drying fabrics, complete with patterns and colours.





We've had some more cracked tiles lifting in Lower Basic 4 classroom. We think that this is due to differential expansion, as the building moves about due to different materials during the cool nights very warm days. The tiles have little space to expand and lift/crack (is the guess). This happened at a similar time of year in 2018.

Omar Badjie (Electrician/Plumber ++) helped to mix and match some new tiles after removing the old ones.








Week ending 29th January 2021

This week we have pictures of 2 new members of staff that have joined since school re-opened.

Sirrah Sambou is one of our ex-Skills students from last year. She is one of the many success stories that make all of the efforts by GETS worthwhile. She would have dropped out of school but for the sponsorship of Ruth McMeechan but now she is a full time classroom assistant (in LB1 mostly), clearly enjoying life preparing teaching aids for Mr Williams class (LB1). Mr Williams is very pleased to have Sirrah's help.

 We are also pleased to announce that Mr Sulayman Saidy has also joined us in the Office, as Sunrise Office Manager. Sulayman is well known to us in GETS, because he ran the nursery school in London Corner that Helen also administered, supported by a church group in Dumbarton Scotland. Sadly that school has now closed.
Sulayman brings considerable admin experience to work with Ramatoulie and Alkali in the office. We hope that all of these skills will go someway to replace Helen as she steps away from her duties in Sunrise.






Omar Badjie, our electrician (who is also a plumber and does many other things) has been helping improve the early installation work that was done in our school. Electrical wiring had not been run in conduit through the ceiling at Sunrise. Some of the connections to Lower Basic had been damaged by rodents "nibbling" and caused a loss of power.

As part of getting filthy in the ceiling void over the hall, Omar reconnected all wiring that he could get at inside conduit, to improve and protect our facilities in Lower Basic but also in the Office, Nursery and Skills too.

 As if "on cue", one of the students in Lower Basic (our current head boy) caught a rat. Seen here displaying it!

Week ending 22nd January 2021

This week the children all enjoyed dressing in their traditional tribal dress for Mufti Day.

For a small fee that goes towards school funds, the children come to be judged for the best dressed in each age group.
Winners in each age group -

The winners in Lower Basic and Nursery are below -

Winners with their prizes

  Earlier in the week Sulayman caught pictures of the Skills Year 2 students preparing chicken stir-fry.

These dishes are always sampled by staff and students towards the end of the school day. Mostly enjoyed and not much goes to waste!


Week ending 15th January 2021

We always arrange a representation to make up the school council and the pictures here represent our students electing certain positions, as shown on the ballet boxes (Head Boy and Dress code positions). This is taken very seriously.


Here are the results of the elections -

Anders Jatta
Head Boy

Fatou Jammeh
Head Girl

Amie Jarju
Dress Code


Binta Njie

Fatou Kinneh Sanneh
Time Keeping


Zerman Jarjue
Local Language



The election officials and skills students lining up to vote in the shade of a large tree.



Elsewhere we captured pictures in Nursery 2 of the pupils doing lovely colourful painting and colouring. This is taken very seriously too!














Week ending 8th January 2021

 This year we've caught up on our class and staff pictures. The Skills 3 students are on work placements in local businesses (we hope not too interrupted by the loss of tourists and other Covid-19 issues) so are not here in our set of classes. We hope to catch them next term.

Nursery 1 with Mbacho and Aunty Sally

 Nursery 2 with Mrs Jawara

 Nursery 3 with Mrs Sanneh

 Lower Basic 1 with Mr Williams and Sirrah

 Lower Basic 2 with Mrs Darboe

 Lower Basic 3 with Yassin Jammeh

   Lower Basic 4 with Fatoumata Singhateh

 Lower Basic 5 with Mr Saidy

 Lower Basic 6 with Mr Jobe

You'll also note that student numbers are down in our Skills 1 class but otherwise the school is mostly full. There are complex reasons for numbers lower in Skills 1, including school closure and a free factory type sewing class being run and sponsored by World Bank nearby. We'll see the numbers change going forward.

Skills Year 1 with Mrs Jammeh and Mr Darboe

Skills Year 2 with Mr Jaiteh

Sunrise Staff

Thanks for these and other pictures goes to Sulayman Saidy, who has joined us at Sunrise as Office Manager.