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Friends of Visually Impaired Children in the Gambia

Looking back on 2020: a year that we hope will never be repeated.

Following on from my newsletter in April 2020 regarding our hasty departure from The Gambia a month earlier, I now have obtained the various reports and photographs for the year to enable a fuller report for 2020.

At the late afternoon meeting prior to our departure with Alieu Jaiteh of Start Now and Mariama who is a teacher at GOVI School, Alieu again wished to thank all who had contributed to the generous purchase of Braille paper. Unfortunately The Friends are unable to assist with his wish for mini bus to enable the transport of visually impaired to the Start Now centre.

GOVI School is now well supported by Friends of The Gambian Association (FOTGA) who regularly supply rice for the children’s lunches and support the taxi fare for six pupils who are outside the school bus catchment area. The school is also assisted by donations from visitors to the school.
Lamin Saidy, our Gambian representative, is a very good friend and is in contact with us either by phone or email. Funds were left before our departure for the completion of the security fencing at the Yahaddy School, an unfortunate necessity.

Owing to our hasty departure no visit to the Yahaddy School was possible to see the completed awning to shade the children from the very hot sun or the beautifully painted roundabout. The school reopened in October. As of December 51 students were enrolled with three teachers. It is hoped the numbers will increase as life returns to normal. Right: pupils enjoying the swings paid for by the Friends.

When the travel restrictions are lifted, Joan and I hope to return, knowing that life for all in The Gambia has been very hard with hunger returning for many.

A big thank you to our remaining sponsors who have enabled us to assist with small projects when requested. We must not forget fellow trustee Pip Pointon for editing and continuing the posting of reports and photographs on our web site.

Phillip Feller

January 2022 - FGVI is no longer a UK charity but will continue to help children in the Gambia whenever it is possible.