Head of Sixth Form Autumn 8
Our Gambia Team have returned. They are armed with stories, memories and experiences which they will hold dear for life. Each one has reflected in their individual way on the trip and recognise that while they gave so much to the community there, they have also gained so much too.
As a School, we are looking to contribute further to the community in Brufut and help fund the costs of building an additional classroom for the Education Centre, with a view to this becoming the centre’s first computer lab. To support our fundraising efforts please donate by visiting our JustGiving page.
Through the help of a former member of staff, Robert Leder, Claires Court is supporting 'Charity Pearl The Gambia' in its efforts to make substantial improvements to day to day life in the Brufut area of The Gambia. So far Claires Court has helped fund the building of the Kids are the World Education Centre, along with the digging of a borehole and well to provide clean water to the community in Brufut.
Over the past year our passionate students, staff and PTA have busily arranged fundraising events in aid of the Claires Court Sixth Form ‘Gambia Project’, with initiatives ranging from a charity dinner to bake sales and sponsored dodgeball matches. Not forgetting student Tom’s 'close shave' when he agreed to have his head shaved by the highest bidder for the cause!
Students and staff enjoyed a once in a lifetime experience when they journeyed to The Gambia this half term, forming unforgettable bonds with the local community of Brufut. Throughout the trip students were kept busy working both inside and outside of the newly built Education Centre, teaching lessons, running activities and undertaking manual building works. This was an extraordinary opportunity for students to see their fundraising efforts realised and to make a difference.
Since their return I have had the privilege of hearing their thoughts and reflections on the trip which has certainly made a significant impact on each of them. Tom commented on the remarkable sense of community in the village, where not just nuclear families shared meal times but the wider community come together to eat and talk. Jazzy noted the kindness and care the young children showed each other and the value they placed on their few possessions; toys were worn out with love and no cries for 'updates' were heard on the entire trip! All the students engaged fully in the cultural activities including drumming and some entertaining attempts at Gambian dance. Jacob enjoyed the diet of fish and rice and I have some fabulous photographs of the team, including staff, in full Gambian costume - very colourful and flattering.
I am excited by the ongoing relationship we are building with the charity and the local villagers and hope we can add our efforts and donations to build a computer lab in Brufut. Our JustGiving page can be found here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clairescourtgambia.