Brilliant response

Lamin Saidy, Sohm Lower Basic school's acting head, has had a great response from our supporters to his letter of thanks to us, published, below, in February this year.

The Luton Herald, the main newspaper circulating in the catchment area of Beech Hill , the school with which Sohm Lower Basic is twinned, published the article below summarising Lamin's letter to us. 

We thank journalist, Jo Gravett, and the paper, for spreading the message in such a positive way.

We sent Lamin a copy and he expressed his appreciation: " Thank you John. we are very much grateful to you. This is wonderful."

Lamin went on to say:
I would like to inform you that our school has come top in the recently concluded Cluster MINI CCM (Consultative Committee Meeting). The aim of this exercise is to gauge the performance of the school in the area of Leadership and Management, Curriculum Delivery, Pupils' Performance and Learner Welfare and School Environment.
Out of the ten schools in the Cluster, including the Upper Basic Schools and the Senior Secondary School, we came out first in ranking. Our performance in this exercise is as a result of your unflinching support to the school.
We hope that the relationship we start with our friends grow from strength to strength.
Thank you to you all. With love from Lamin.

Meanwhile, a senior executive of a major UK aid charity who is a supporter of our charity, in a personal capacity, contacted us. Having seen Lamin's response to the newspaper article, he said:
That's all very satisfying and shows how investment can trigger great results.
 I thought the sentence from Lamin Saidy summed up how development should work: 'Our performance in this exercise is as a result of your unflinching support of the school'. Investment unleashes the inherent potential - brilliant!
Praise - and support - indeed, from one who knows!

Out and about

Sohm is, by Gambian standards, a fairly remote village.  One of the great challenges is for the children there to become familiar with the wider, outside, world.  A couple of events recently have addressed this.

Independence day in The Gambia, as in all post colonial countries, is a big occasion for national celebration and pride, and some of Sohm's youngest got a very early taste of it, as the photo below shows.

The nursery school celebrated the day in a local village, in a ceremony attended by 140 other nursery schools in the region. The photos shows some of the Sohm contingent at the march past.

Meanwhile, one of the Lower Basic school's older girls is making a name for herself in the national athletics arena. There was a national schools' athletics meet at the National Stadium in March, to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of independence.

Sohm Lower Basic's Nyima Badjie, representing both the school and its region came second in the high jump for her age group. Nyima, shown below, is a pen pal of one of the youngsters at Beech Hill primary school. She established her mark with almost no training or coaching.  

Safe to say, if she were in the UK she would already be signed up to a major athletics club and being groomed as a potential competitor in the 2024 Olympics. Sadly, Nyima's talents will not be so well nurtured in The Gambia.

Despite, or possibly because, of this, Nyima deserves our greatest congratulations!

Well done, Nyima Badjie
 - champion high jumper