Saturday 10th December 2005 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston wants to raise £2,000 in the run up to Christmas to help with the education of the children in The Gambia.
On Thursday 22 December, 2005, Brian and June Cox will be in school to receive this so please give generously on MUFTI Day this coming Wednesday.
Making A Difference In The Gambia
Gambian village children
A major fund-raising initiative is being planned at Brooke Weston City Technology College to help needy villagers in the Gambia. Staff at the college are planning a series of events to raise £10,000 to provide a new school building.
A mufti day to be held before Christmas could raise up to £ 2,000 to provide running water to a village currently without a supply, but the long term aim is to generate enough money to build a new school.
Money raised at Brooke Weston will go towards the Educational Project, The Gambia, West Africa, which is run by Kettering couple, Brian and June Cox. The College first got involved by donating unwanted football strips to the project which meant that budding players could compete in their local league for the first time ... now the Educational Project has bought land which is earmarked for the new school and Brooke Weston is determined to help out.
Head teacher with the school library
Vice Principal Trish Stringer is the driving force behind the fund-raising effort, and intends to go to the Gambia in the New Year in order to see the situation out there at first hand. 'When we were boxing up the football kit to be sent out we could see what a difference it would make,' she said, 'now we want to go one step further. It would be great for Brooke Weston to become more involved and to talk to Brian and June was an immensely humbling experience.'
The couple first visited the Gambia as tourists in 1990 and subsequently provided tables and chairs for a village school ... from that first gesture of goodwill has grown a charity which has so far generated more than £80,000 worth of aid which helps out in all areas of Gambian life, from nursery provision through to giving wheelchairs to the disabled.
New homes for 3 teachers
The first Brooke Weston target will raise money to build two standpipes in Sanchaba, a settlement of about 2,000 people which is built next to a rubbish dump. The government were worried that the waste was polluting the water in the wells and so they shut them down. Now residents have to walk over a mile to collect their water. The standpipes would link into a clean supply provided by Gambian Water.
The Educational Project, who already support four schools, at Basumbala, Bakoteh, Jattaba and Sanchaba are staking out the ground to mark the plot for the new site.
Trish Stringer, who hopes to hit the £ 10,000 fund-raising target within two years envisages Brooke Weston having a long term and ongoing interest in the work in Africa. 'I'd like to think that Brooke Weston students will get really involved and perhaps some of them can go over to the Gambia as teaching assistants during a gap year. If we build this link it will continue on into the future. Education is a powerful passport and if Brooke Weston can raise funds to help education in the Gambia it would be wonderful.'