By Aramata Jatta
Kebba and Brigid at one of the new desks
Philanthropist from U.K, Mike and Brigid Hendy recently donated water tanks and furniture to the community of Gunjur Kungkujang at Kombo South Constituency at a cost of £15000
Hon. Kebba Barrow, Majority Leader of the National Assembly and other government and local officials grace the handing over ceremony.
According to Mike they got some funding from the Bracknell Lions Gambia, and raised another £7500 from Lions Clubs International (LCIF) for matching funds to undertake the water project –
The philanthropist with the help of their eldest daughter and her husband raised a lot more money for the project besides supplying other items such as refurbished laptops, printer, camera, and a projector all of which would be used in the school.
The new tanks for water
The donor revealed that in September 2018 they were able to supply second hand clothing with the help of Tenerife Sur Lions Club in the Canary Islands which was send in a 20ft shipping container.
Mike stated that Tenerife provided five new beds and mattresses for the teachers in the school to use, when they had to stay in the school overnight during the week. He said up to now they had been sleeping on the floor and one had been hospitalized with pneumonia.
The donor asserted that whilst fundraising was going on for the main project they were also able to respond to a request from the school to furnish a Staff Room where they could prepare lessons comfortably rather than sitting on the floor.
‘’ Funding for this was provided by a private benefactor and the goods purchased in The Gambia’’.
Staff room furniture
‘’we were also delighted to hand over a donation by Coningsby and Tattersall Lions Club in the UK to purchase and install 15 ceiling fans for the LBS’’.
Mike said they were shown the incomplete classroom block which should have contained 4 classrooms and an office/store.
‘’donors agree to raise an estimated cost of £8000, to finish at least two classrooms and that is our current project’’.
He alluded that they have already raised £5000 out of the £8000 and they are assured by the Island of Jersey Overseas Aid Organisation that they will match pound for pound whatever Lions Clubs can raise for the outstanding £3000. He said they hope to see this project completed when we go out again in November 2019
The next project
‘’During our visit in March 2019, we also were able to confirm the provision of a Health and well Being/Immunisation clinic every two weeks in the village starting April – this will be provided by the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity who will travel out from Banjul for this purpose’’.
He concluded by thanking Kebba Cham who alerted them to the needs of the community in the first place and has worked tirelessly as ‘their man in The Gambia’ to act as intermediary for all the work that has gone on so far.