The latest news from
GETS in Gambia






We were delighted to welcome again to Sunrise a Dutch couple, who help a number of schools within The Gambia by bringing things to help. (They arrived in mid November but their picture missed our Nov Blog in error). Sadly I didn't capture their names and they didn't really want pictures either. Notwithstanding all of that we were very grateful, especially for the football strip. worn with pride.



Lower Basic class pictures show LB 4, 5 and 6 working hard in their classrooms


LB 4


LB 5


LB 6


Early in December we had another visit from Tony Bound and Erica Wren, long term friends and supporter. They haven't been able to come for some years now and found the experience quite a challenge.




They felt that Sunrise has slipped back quite a bit, for many reasons, since the early days when they helped set it up.

Tony spent quite a bit of time helping to fill in a gap in teaching staff in Skills Training (Cookery and Pastry).



 It was great that he was able to advise us as we selected our new replacement, Mr Abdoulie Jallow.



Erica was delighted to meet up with Jojo Sey whom she's sponsored throughout her education. Erica is helping select a school for when Jojo completes her time at Sunrise this summer. I'm glad to report that this has been successful.



Our hall is always a busy area, a focal point for many activities. This time our Skills 1 students were designing patterns in the large cool area before other classes took their breaks.



Skills 1 were later caught on camera learn a new skill, making squares for a quilt.



Skills 3 tailoring students below modelling their creations.


Father Kenny Macaulay visited us to donate a large cheque to swell GETS funds for 2022/3. Tony was delighted to receive this on the occasion that they were both at Sunrise together. The cheque represents a large part of the monies left over from the all the fund raising by his Scottish church charity, based in Dumbarton. For over the last 20 years they helped children by running a free Nursery School in the poorest part of London Corner, Serrekunda (about a mile from Sunrise). We will use this money to support our work at Sunrise by implementing projects and new ideas that we otherwise couldn't afford.


Students in Skills 2 were challenged to make attractive outfits for Friday (religious day) wear. Quite a mixture of colours and styles as they show off their work.



It's been nice that that we can meet again in assembly after the Covid-19 regulations were finally relaxed.



 It's also allowed us to do end of term activities, which always seem competitive. The picture shows a balloon blowing competition. The aim was to be the first to burst their balloon (the middle pink one!)



We have been able to fund a new access for wheel chairs to our school via a concrete ramp, now tiled, thanks to Omar Badjie's ingenuity.


Starting the work



Tiling and finishing off the ramp



The remainder of the pictures try to capture the huge effort that goes into painting a school. It's been more than 5 years in Gambia's harsh climate since it was last painted.




 Omar took on the challenge of managing a team of local painters to make Sunrise look clean and shiny again. He's done really well. We still need to complete the insides but the hall has been finished already.




Skills classrooms





Stairs to LB 4, 5 and 6




Lower Basic from the playground



Classes continue each day with a variety of learning techniques. Our Nursery students often write on the board but even the tallest and oldest in Nursery 3 struggle to reach.



Whilst in Lower Basic, Mr Jadama (LB3) has the class concentrating on mathematics. This is a subject where many struggle in The Gambia.



Our National Assessment Test Grade 5 June 2022 scores were particularly poor this year for the boys. This was due to a number of factors; smaller group of boys (boys 10/girls 20), poorer results throughout for pupils who transferred from other schools due to poor reading standards, and of course interruptions due to Covid-19.




We always end up cleaning rubbish from school as students are careless with rubbish. Parents don’t seem to set an example at home about being careful with the environment.





Weeds grow well after the rains so the school garden needs work again too.



One of our first visitors this year was Annette Taylor who sponsors 2 girls in our LB classes. (Adji Takko Bah LB6 and Ndey Mboob LB4).



We had other visitors (Pastor Issaka Abdulie and Abibatou Sesay) who came from one of the churches to help with training for Paul Badjian in his Christian studies programme.

Mr Omar Gaye (LB6) has been using his skills to help our local welder man rebuild our see-saws. Repairs from a previous occasion didn’t survive the rough treatment that they get.



Students are working hard now in our Tailoring class, cutting materials and sewing them on our recently serviced sewing machines. The picture below is of Houlaymatou Baldeh sewing in Skills 3.



Head girl, Jara Badjie is also pictured measuring cloth.



We also have pictures of the skills students working and  displaying work from their practical sessions






We’ve also had a session cleaning all the equipment in the Cookery and Pastry area. Our Cook, Susan Jarjue has been helping students with practical work, whilst we struggle to recruit a new teacher.





Finally, we’ve been celebrating the success of Fatou Nyassi who has won a Regional NAQAA Tailoring competition and was second in the National competition. That was truly amazing! Well done Fatou!



Class photos


Term 1 of the new academic year is well under way now. We have captured pictures of each of the classes in school. Nursery and Lower Basic are full, any gaps are due to sickness. 


Lower Basic 1


Lower Basic 2


Lower Basic 3


Lower Basic 4


Lower Basic 5


Lower Basic 6




Nursery 1

Nursery 2

Nursery 3 


Skills 1

Skills 2





We are recruiting a Cookery and Pastry Teacher, which has proved quite difficult again. Some candidates are not properly qualified or have other things that would prohibit them teaching at times (like college or other jobs). We are lucky that our school cook, Susan Jarjue has been leading this class to help them with practicals.

Susan is seen in this picture with Skills 1, front left in a pink top.



Skills 1 were making scotch eggs with breadcrumbs and also a batter for fried food.





Skills 1 have also been doing Tie and Dye work with lovely resulting results.




Skills 2 were  trying out our new hand blender.




Skills 2 ready for their first sewing lesson  of the term.



Skills 3 are practising skills that they’ve been taught in the tie and dye lessons.



We’ve been acting as a health care point again with the Ministry of Health visiting on 2 occasions to give worming treatment to youngsters.



 Later they returned to give out Measles and Rubella immunization.



In our garden area, Mr Gaye has  been teaching LB 5 all about composting to improve the soil.




We’ve restarted assemblies again as the level of COVID-19 pre-cautions is decreasing. Pictures are shown here for LB (led by Mr Jadama) and Nursery (led by Mrs Jawara and Mrs Cessay) assemblies.







After opening in mid-September for registration, school recommenced late in the month, with the rains still in progress, perhaps easing a little.


We often return to find maintenance problems and this year was no different. We had to rebuild a new soakaway, (a block lined underground tank) after the Lower Basic original soakaway collapsed.



We also needed to replace quite a few pieces of the school roof.



These things have been in place for 10 years and have shown the inevitable signs of aging in the hash African sun and rains!


We suffer from human damage from time to time. On this occasion we “lost” the razor wire protecting the school walls from climbers. This was quickly repaired.



 We’ve also had the normal water leaks and floods, like in these Nursery toilets which had a leak in the cistern.



All ages enjoy playing with the see-saw in the shade of the tree at break-time.




 Below are some of the new pupils in Nursery 1 enjoying break-time on their very first day at school.





All the socks look very white, I wonder if they will look the same at the end of the day!





At the end of their first day, the very tired children in N1 are finishing their first day at school quietly watching a video, or sleeping!
















GETS AGM 2022 - Another Zoom Year for GETS!


We met again on zoom in early September this year. We hoped that it might bring more attendees but sadly not.

It was nice to see our regularly attendees, however, including Helen in person!


As ever many got in touch to say our dates clashed or they couldn't make the time slot and we passed on their apologises.


Tony and Sue travelled to Dawn and Paul's house in South Wales to meet up as remaining Trustees, joined too by Helen.

We were pleased to have David Hosking (a fellow golfer of Tony's), Rosie Holder and Angela Thomas join us.

Chris and Steve Humphries heard us but sadly could not make themselves heard by the group.