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
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
They felt that Sunrise has slipped back quite a
bit, for many reasons, since the early days when they helped set
Tony spent quite a bit of time helping to fill in
a gap in teaching staff in Skills Training (Cookery and Pastry).
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
Skills 1 were later caught on camera learn a new
skill, making squares for a quilt.
Skills 3 tailoring students below modelling their
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
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.
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
One of our first visitors this year was Annette Taylor who
sponsors 2 girls in our LB classes. (Adji Takko Bah LB6 and Ndey
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
Head girl, Jara Badjie is also pictured measuring cloth.
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
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
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
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
Later they returned to give out Measles and Rubella
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)
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
We also needed to replace quite a few pieces of the school
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.
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