School's out for summer

Sohm Lower Basic school has had a good year, having bounced back from COVID, without too many casualties. And we are delighted to say, that although Sohm Schools Support did not deliver any major projects  during the year, all of our on-going support elements came in to play, to the great benefit of the children and wider community of the village, as this post, summing up the year, demonstrates.

With our friends from the Jersey Gambia Schools Trust (JGST), we were able to continue to updgrade and refurb one of the teaching blocks, as the photo of the restored classroom, below, indicates. And, along with that, we have paid for the restoration of large quantities of broken and damaged school furniture - all of which is now in full commission.

A refurbed and re-decorated classroom, in one of the two main teaching blocks, part funded by SSS 
Children sitting at some of the restored furniture in a refurbed classroom

For the first time in many years, the senior grade classes in the school were given a day trip around significant historic and economic points of interest in the country - important for many pupils who have rarely left their remote village before. We were indirectly able to support this trip because we supplied the school with all of its stationery needs during the year, thus freeing up school funds to pay for the trip for the students.

Above and below: staff and pupils visting Banjul airport, as part of the SSS-facilitated school visit

Over the years we have tried to upgrade technology in the school (connecting it to electricty and paying for its supply, provison of TV, internet connection and DVDs for teaching purposes, along with PCs to assist with the admin of the school). This year was no different. We helped provide a good quality laptop for admin putposes and a projector, to link with it, for teaching and other uses in the new school hall we built a couple of years ago.

A new laptop for the deputy head and a projector for use in the school hall

In this, the last week of term, our good friends, the Scottish-based charity, First Aid 4 Gambia, paid their annual visit to the school The magnificent Momodou from that charity provided a day's first aid training to 19 staff and parents and donated a range of first aid supplies to the school, to keep stocks refreshed in the first aid room we were instrumental in establishing and furnishing. So - safer lives for children and some real medical knowledge imparted into a village with no resident medical staff or facilities.

Attendance list at recent First Aid training course, provided by First Aid 4 Gambia

Some of the teaching aids used during the training


Momodou demonstrating some head bandaging

Some of the First Aid trainees, proudly demonstrating their course certificates

Some of the First Aid materials generously donated to the school by First Aid 4 Gambia

We are delighted to have been able to support the school by helping at the margins in thse various ways - each of which enriches the lives of the school's children and enhances the educational experience they benefit from.

Sohm pupils, February 2022, showing some of the staionery supplies donated to the school by SSS

None of this would be possible without the continued support we get from YOU, our supporters. Pride of place of which must go to the generous support we receive from the parents, pupils and staff at Beech Hill Community Prmary school in Luton.

We have mentioned before the large sums of money they have raised for Sohm LBS - with which they are twinned -over the years and are delighted to see the recognition they get locally for their efforts, via the local press. Below is a copy of the coverage they received from Luton News last month, for their latest Gambia Day.

 Luton News, 29 June 2022, reporting Beech Hill's recent Gambia day

So - as the pupils break up for their summer holidays, all connected with the school can look back on an enriched educational year, assisted by all of you, through your generous support.

A BIG thanks to all of our supporters for YOUR on-going support!  Keep the funds rolling in, so that we can continue to help enrich the lives of large numbers of African youngsters, at relatively low per capita costs.

Next post - the conclusion of our ambitious Sukuta Project - the substantial refurbishment and modernistaion of Sukuta LBS - the Gambia's largest (2,000 pupils) primary school.