Busumbala is a village in a remote part of The Gambia accessed along a very dry and bumpy road about 20 minutes from the nearest shops and community.
Until recently children living in this area were unable to be educated as the nearest school was many miles away. That is until the Lisa Kent Trust, who also runs and supports several schools in the country, were told about a piece of land available for sale and after months of negotiations and meetings with a solicitor the land was purchased through money raised by the Meridian Primary School, Comberton, near Cambridge.
As the school began to take shape the local children would look on excitedly in the hope that one day they too would be able to attend school.
Following many fund raising events the charity was able to secure sufficient funds to complete stage one of the school by furnishing the first 2 classrooms with tables and chairs, either donated or bought, and sent in a container from the UK. As soon as the classrooms were ready and a teacher employed the local children, aged between 3 and 8, were able to be registered and the school opened its gates to 40 children on 30th January 2012. The children will all learn to speak English as well as the basic core subjects.
Fund raising continued and stage two of the school was completed. This involved adding a first floor on top of the existing school giving a total of 8 large classrooms in all. The ground floor is for the nursery aged children and the first floor for primary age.
Following the start of the 2013/14 academic year, two more classrooms were opened. This was for Grade 1 and Grade 2 Primary, resulting in two more members of staff joining the team. Some of the teachers do have to travel some distance to reach the school and are therefore very committed to the Trust and the children. Grade 3 will open for the next academic year.
The Trust has a new Administrator/Teacher Nyde Fatou, who is well qualified in Business Management and therefore an ideal candidate to fill the role, thus taking some of the workload away from Pa Camara, who works so hard to make sure the Trust’s schools run smoothly and efficiently and to a high standard.
The full time caretaker and cleaner ensure the school grounds are kept clean and tidy and safe for the children. The playingfield wall will be shortly built, thus completley finishing all building work. TO date we have had a wire fence marking the boundary.
The trees are all growing really well and particularly after the rainy season are very lush. The bananas taste wonderful.
The school has a huge bench which made in remembrance of a sponsor’s mother, a very kind gesture and a wonderful seat to be enjoyed for many years. It must also be one of the longest bench’s ever!!