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Friends of Visually Impaired Children in the Gambia

When we arrived in The Gambia for a four-week visit in November 2022 we found many locals complaining that it was hotter than usual for that month. As the rains had continued for longer some days and nights were very humid.  The continuing rain also caused delays in out-of-doors work.

GOVI School was functioning well with the help of a Dutch charity which is working with the Gambian Government.

The small college in Birkama sponsored by The Friends now has its own website (https://startnowgambia.org).

Alieu Jatta, although visually impaired, has travelled abroad to the USA and India and has managed to secure funding for the college which has enabled it to purchase white canes and computers. The training in the use of the white canes allows the user greater freedom, especially when walking out and about and crossing roads. More Gambians are aware of those using white canes and are more helpful to them.

On our previous visit we found that the Yahaddy Nursery School didn’t have a kitchen or store room. This was alright in the dry season but not in the rainy season. It was agreed to fund the building of a kitchen and store room.This visit we were pleased to find a well-built kitchen with tiled floor and a secure store room. Funds were given for the purchase of pots, pans, plates, spoons etc. We had also seen that eight desks were in a poor and dangerous condition and the replacements have been funded by the Friends. It was agreed, after costing, that the interior and exterior of the school would be painted during the school holidays.

Two low vision children visited the opticians. After examination one required stronger glasses and the other just ointment. This was paid for out of our funds.

Joan and Phillip Feller