Feb 16, 2009, 5:03 AM
As part of their continuous generosity to Gambians and residents of The Gambia, Shine Africa, a UK Gambia-based charitable organisation has again brought into the country a forty-feet container full of materials worth over D400, 000.
The container, presently at St. Jones Nursery School in Mandinaring village, Kombo North, will be donated to the education and health sectors in the country.
The contents of the container include sight glasses, crutches, wheel chairs, hospital trolleys, blood pressure monitors, wooden cabinet for the hospital, dressing materials, writing papers, exercise books, and educational books. Also in the container are big television screens, pens, pencils, counting equipment, children's toys, chairs for children and adults, tables, blackboard cleaners, cooking utensils, mosquito springs, carpets, sticky tapes, clothing for children in schools, and football boots for children.
Speaking to this reporter at the school in Mandinaring village, Mr. Ian Jones, a member of the organisation expressed delight in the way and manner Gambians had approached their organisation. He described Gambians as dedicated and honest people. He disclosed that they have built four schools in The Gambia, including St Jones Nursery School in Mandinaring, Saaba Community Nursery School in Badibu, one nursery school in Bundung and one in Mandina in the Kombo Central district.
According to him, they understand that Gambian children do want to get educated, but funding becomes their main constraints. He added that they do not only stop at building schools, but also try as much as possible to furnish them and pay salaries of teachers and other staff.
He commended the Newman University College of Birmingham, Mr. Mark Hammons, Neil Hammons and Michelle Hill for their support and generosity, noting that without their support and influence the project would not have been realised.
For her part, Mrs. Mariama Glynn Jones, the Chairperson of the organisation said Shine Africa has taken it upon themselves to support education and health in The Gambia as no development can take place without the two.
She expressed the need for sustainability and good care for these equipment and schools.
Mr. Lamin Badjie and Mr. Manneh Suwareh, both Gambians and Co-ordinators of the Shine projects in The Gambia said that their aim is to complement government's effort in development. They thanked the government through the Ministry of Education, Gambia Ports Authority and the community people for their support and encouragement.
According to them, with support from the government and people of The Gambia, "the sky is the limit to their organisation's contribution towards national development, especially in the area of education and health sector."Three students namely Naomi Sambrook, Sineade Couglan and Charlotte Key, all from Newman University College in Birmingham, UK, expressed delight in the way and manner in which Gambian schools are being run. They thanked Shine Africa for the encouragement and support to students, both here in The Gambia and in UK.