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Friends of Visually Impaired Children in the Gambia

April 2020:

play equipment

The sad loss of two of our founder trustees - Don Newbold CBE and David Pointon - led to us considering making 2019 our final year. But, after messages of support and donations, Joan and I decided that we would continue to assist with requests if funds and our health permitted.

This year we received an urgent request from Alieu Jaiteh of Start Now for Braille paper as that would greatly help with its continuing training programme (See separate report). We had also received a request during our visit in December from the Yahaddy Nursery School for a roundabout (left). This was left in the hands of Lamin Saidy, our Gambian representative who found that, after obtaining estimates, that there were sufficient funds.

Our visit in March this year started well and we were able to go ahead with various visits and meetings. But then the government announced that, as a person who had travelled from London via Morocco to the Gambia had been diagnosed with Covid-19, all schools would close within 24 hours. We soon received an email from Gambian Experience that we would be repatriated. As we were given such short notice we asked if we could leave on a later flight. The response was that if we did not take the offered flight we might have to wait until the end of June for another. We accepted the early flight and after a rather hectic and tiring two days we got home.

We hope we can return to the Gambia later this year and continue where we left off.

We do hope all our supporters and their families stay safe.Thank you

Phillip Feller