Vital work to help Gambian children
Aid workers from the Lanarkshire charity Project Gambia have returned from their most successful mission ever in the poverty-stricken West African state.
Volunteers Lynne Macdonald, Paul Lafferty, Frank Devine and Charlie Docherty flew in to the capital Banjul on Saturday, November 3.
They had been raising money all year to support the 340 boys and girls who attend St John’s School for the Deaf in the town of Serekunda.
And an injection of funds from their grand summer ball let them deliver more support than they thought possible.
Volunteer and charity co-founder Frank Devine said: “We want to thank everyone who has donated to Project Gambia, thus ensuring we are able to deliver an enhanced level of support to the children, and we want to especially mention the various Catholic parishes in the West of Scotland who have invited us into their churches, where we’ve been given the opportunity to tell parishioners all about our work with these marginalised and disadvantaged children.
“They have all responded to our appeals magnificently.”
The team were invited to a reception held by Gabriel Mendy, the Bishop of Banjul, who thanked the charity on behalf of the people of Gambia for the support they’ve provided for the school children.
They also distributed beautifullypatterned blankets to some of the most needy families in Manjai Township, on the outskirts of Serekunda.
Most importantly, they have secured the school feeding programme for 2018/2019, which ensures every child a receives a hot and nutritious meal every day, and delivered 340 new school uniforms, which were gratefully accepted by the children, parents and teachers.
And the charity also progressed their attempt to get Mohammed Cham – known as wee Alieu – to Scotland for life-changing medical treatment that might restore his hearing. The eight-year-old was born with no ears and was due to fly from the West African nation in June to receive a special implant at University Hospital Monklands, but was left broken-hearted after his application for a temporary visa was blocked.
Project Gambia co-founder Paul Lafferty added: “We’re working on and discussing other interventions that will enhance the educational experiences of the children in a number of ways and we will be back at the school in March with new school bags crammed with essential items for each of the 340 pupils.”
A wee character Mohammed was born with no ears but the charity are trying to set up surgery for him to have an implant inserted at a Scottish
Aid workers Lynne Macdonald, Paul Lafferty, Frank Devine and Charlie Docherty in Serrekunda, West Gambia
Lunch timethe pupils enjoying their lunch