By Rich Hook
Teachers and students from City College Brighton & Hove are appealing for donations so they can bring their skills to one of the most disadvantaged nations in the world.
The college’s construction department needs to raise £10,000 to fund a return trip to Gambia to finish work at a school which was started last year.
Last December, as part of the Give it to Gambia appeal, three students, studying for a construction apprenticeship as part of the 14-16 Engagement Programme, joined a 15-strong Sussex Central YMCA group in visiting Kafuta Lower Basic School in Brikama.
At the school, the group used their construction skills to build a new set of football goals and cricket bats, as the school had no sports equipment.
Gambia group leader, Steve Wilkins, said: “It wasn’t until we went out there that you understand how basic the facilities are – it’s definitely third world. We left behind the tools we used to try and create a legacy, and that’s why we’re so keen to go back out there to carry on the project.”
While the students were unable to make all the repairs necessary to fix the library, they have since set this as the main goal for this year’s trip.
This December, the seven students and three staff going are aiming to redesign the whole building with a new bookcase, re-painted walls and new book supplies.
Wilkins said: “The trip is as beneficial for our students as the ones they are helping out in Gambia. These students are specifically chosen because mainstream education isn’t working out for them, for one reason or another, and they all come back changed as individuals and with a different outlook.”
The fundraisers have already organised a range of events, such as a Mother’s Day fair, five-a-side football tournaments, stalls selling artwork and products made at the college, and music events like Friday’s open-mic show which featured performances by City College journalism students Chris Thom and Jamie Jolley.
Anyone wishing to contribute to Give to Gambia, please contact Lisa Beresford at City College at email@example.com