May 20, 2009, 7:46 AM
A successful aid mission to St. John’s School for the Deaf was Tuesday undertaken by the Scottish-based charity, Project Gambia: “People Feeding People.”
Aid workers Paul Lafferty and Frank Devine delivered at least six months of desperately needed foodstuffs to the school as part of their commitment to supporting the school.
The objective is to provide hot and nutritious meal for children at their place of learning.
Paul and Frank, who arrived in The Gambia for a seven-day mission, had been conducting fundraising for over a year to raise as much money as possible for the school of over 250 pupils, who have hearing disabilities.
According to Paul, this was their third mission to The Gambia though the second year focused on assisting children and teachers at St. John’s School for the Deaf.
With the support and friendship of a number of outstanding individuals and associations of people in Scotland, they have raised thousands of pounds for the school, said Paul.
“Frank and I have brought this money over to support the school-feeding programme,” he added.
“We have also brought other stuffs that we felt could prove valuable to the school in a developing country that is involved in the education of deaf children,”
These stuffs included hundreds of hearing aids, as well as learning and playing materials, he added.
They also brought resources for the children that are commonplace in Western societies but are appreciative of by their friends in The Gambia.The items included toothbrushes and toothpastes, skipping ropes, small toys, football shirts, pens and pencils and other items they feel would be needed by the children, he said.
Frank continued that: “we want to especially express our gratitude to the following individuals and organisations back in Scotland for all their support with the school feeding program. The Hoochie Coochie Club (Newcastle), Disco Inferno Whitburn (Sandy Jack), The Den Social Club (Glasgow), Deep Fried Soul (Dumfries), The Murray Family (Mossend), Jason Higgins (Wishaw), Ann Crossar (Blantyre), Mary Tresa Devine (Mossend), Kevin Kane (London), Charlie Parkinson (Bellshill), W.M.Q Building Services (Baby McArthur), The Laird Family (Glasgow), Terry Dunn (Motherwell), Alex, Gerry, Mark and Des (Blantyre), Lorna Gordon (Bellshill), Lanarkshire Law Practice (Anne and Andy Brophy), and in memory of Colette Matheson, The Dunsmore Family (Larkhal), The Carlin Family (Holytown), Brian and Janice Lafferty, Culdesac Bar (Coatbridge), Gerry Mays (Bellshill), Reflex Signs (Airdrie) and Aldo Moravcik and Anna Walls (Uddingston).
The school principal, Daniel Mendy, on behalf of the school, extended heartfelt thanks to Project Gambia and what they have done for children of St. John’s School for the Deaf.
Deputy Principal Maryann Allen said that without the support of Paul and Frank and their friends in Scotland they would found it very difficult to feed the children.
“It is likely the children would go hungry or alternatively not attend school if they were not being provided with nutritious and healthy meal by Project Gambia: People Feeding People,” Allen said.
Apart from the items mentioned above, Project Gambia, with the support of their Gambian link, Alasan Camara, also bought to the school 100 bags of rice, 10 gallons of cooking oil, 10 cartons of tomato paste, 10 bags of onion, 3 bags of flour, 10 kilograms of black paper, 6 cartons of corned beef, 1 carton of garlic, 10 cartons of full chicken and other items worth D282,000.