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Spring 2013 Newsletter

Jul 6, 2011
1 to 3

The Trustees are pleased to report several areas of progress during the last 12 months, principally at Wellingara Health Clinic.

Although the clinic has been open for several years it has not been possible until now to provide ante and post natal care and so the number of patients attending was much lower than anticipated. Since last summer a medical team from another, much larger clinic several miles away visits Wellingara clinic on alternate Thursdays. On 17th January 423 patients attended (200 weighing; 44 infants; 120 immunization;45 ‘old’ ante-natal and 15 ‘new’ ante-natal)

However, because of a lack of equipment to deliver babies women still had to travel to the other clinic. Thanks to a grant of £1000 from The Gambia Experience travel company, celebrating 25 years in business, we have been able to purchase, some but not all, of the necessary obstetric equipment. The original aim of the clinic was to reduce maternal and child mortality so we hope to hear of babies being safely delivered before long.

1to3 does not have the funds to pay sufficient medical staff to enable the clinic to remain open 24 hours a day, which is a requirement of the government’s Regional Health Team.

Combating malaria: Raising public awareness of malaria is a preventative measure aimed at combating this deadly disease, which is treatable with early medical intervention. To this end the clinic staff have been spreading the word throughout the surrounding villages, at the markets and around the bore holes; school staff have been given leaflets to help them talk with the children, in their classes. Of course chemically dipping mosquito nets is also an effective method of combating malaria and dipping sessions are held but only when the chemical tablets are available. There always seems to be a shortage.

CIS Nursery School: After an inspection by the education authorities, the school was ‘approved’ as fit for purpose but two other local nursery schools were closed down causing an influx of children from those schools asking for admission to the CIS school. This school is always over-subscribed in any case and keeping the class sizes down to 35 is not always possible. Extra classes for children from the closed schools have had to be held as they were struggling with Jolly Phonics.

The Pingle School in S Derbyshire paid the costs of professional training for a volunteer teacher and she is now fully qualified and teaching at the school. Now we are seeking similar funding for a male teacher who has come from one of the closed down schools. The fees are under £550 to attend The Gambia College where training taking place in the three main school holiday for three years.

The Jolly Phonics scheme continues to give an excellent grounding in reading and spelling; the school next door (7-13yrs) to which most of the nursery children transfer, came out top in Gambia in the National Attainment Tests (NATs) which staff attribute to Jolly Phonics. The nursery head teacher Sainey Gibba is not yet back full time as he is still working for the Government  teaching JP throughout the Gambia.

Children’s Sponsorship Scheme: The number of children sponsored remains steady but there are still children on the waiting list.  Please tell your friends of the benefits these children/families experience with the small amount of extra money every month, principally to pay school fees and for books. It is possible for a small group of friends to join together to sponsor a child and this helps spread the cost. Please contact Marj Jawo if you would like details.

The areas where the mothers (and some fathers) of the children live is divided into three areas called clusters.  From the profits of making and selling soap they have paid the school fees for 15 non-sponsored needy children. A micro-finance scheme where small loans are given has proved successful with no defaulters.

FGM: Two trainers from GAMCOPTRAP (Gambia Committee of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children) gave an illustrated talk to 75 women concerning the health risks around the entrenched traditional practice of Female Genital Mutilatiom (FGM). This practice is not a religious requirement and GAMCOTRAP re-educates the local community (women and men) where there are very diverse attitudes.  They have worked in several regions within Gambia where FGM is no longer practiced and it is our hope that on day we can say the same for the girls of Wellingara.

THANK YOU                THANK YOU                  THANK YOU

Once again we send our sincere thanks to ALL who have supported us in different ways; sent us donations; some for specific purposes; some for additional funds for sponsored children and some for general funds. But we would give a special mention to:-

 

Ann McKenzie of Rhyl who runs a pensioners club who save ‘pennies’ and have donated an amazing amount again this past year.

 

To those who do not sponsor a child but continue to send us a monthly amount – you know who you are!

To the Holt family in Derbyshire who have funded the installation of a tap near the compound of their sponsored girl – this will enable people from ten compounds (approx 100 people) to have clean water. We know from reports by other tap users that children’s health has improved and that well irrigated ‘gardens’ have produced good crops.

Reigate College provided funds so that ceilings could be fitted in a classroom and the school office. Ceilings reduce the heat which radiates from the corrugated iron roofs.

Soroptimists International, Burton on Trent continues to sponsor the education of a bright young girl from Wellingara.

 

 

News :

Jan 29, 2011
1 to 3

Wellingara Community Health Clinic

At last the clinic is open on a regular basis, staffed by two nurse/midwives working shifts from 8am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and Friday 8am to 4pm on Fridays. A Red Cross volunteer assists daily.

Patients pay a small registration fee before seeing a nurse. If medication is prescribed this has to be paid for before being given to the patient. Sponsored children are treated free of charge from a fund especially set aside for this purpose. Any patients who cannot be treated at the clinic are referred to other facilities.

The necessary registration with the health authorities is in the process of being completed and then ante and post natal care will be available. There are many requests for this care from pregnant women.

The clinic administrator keeps a record of the numbers of different illnesses per month. During the rainy season (June to October) the incidence of malaria is high. 95% of patients seen in November had malaria.

Generous donations save lives:  1to 3 Trustees would like to thank the following organisations for their generous support.

Northampton Catenians donated £1200 to be used for the Health Clinic.

Once again Open Gate based in Derbyshire has donated £3100 and three new taps have been sited around Wellingara ensuring many more residents will have access to clean drinking water from the mains supply. To keep the cost down villagers carried out the digging of the trenches from the mains to the taps.

Burton on Trent Soroptimists International continues to support Wellingara by sponsoring a very bright young girl to enable her to continue her education. As both her parents have died this support is vital. The Club also donates funds for bed nets.

Winshill Methodist Church, Burton on Trent has as its year-long project, raising funds for bed nets and malaria medication. 1to3 Trustee and Sponsorship Secretary, Marj Jawo did a sponsored abseil in September and a Gambian evening was held in October. A recent concert given by Derbyshire Constabulary Police Choir was well attended raising over £300.

The Pingle School, South Derbyshire donated money to enable the clinic nurses to have a motor bike to enable them to attend emergencies in the area. Funds raised were sufficient to pay for the bike, helmet, insurance and licence.

Pingle School has also sponsored a young woman to attend The Gambia College for teacher training.  All courses are held in the school holidays over three years.

Students at Reigate College have raised funds for the training of two teachers and donated two computers during a recent visit to Wellingara by a member of staff.  The College hopes to be involved over a number of years.

Sponsorship News

Most days the Wellingara Sponsorship Coordinator, Buba Dampha, can be seen on his motorbike (funded by donors in the UK) around Wellingara as he makes home visits to families of 130 sponsored children to check their health and welfare. This is a comprehensive task following which he sends individual reports to Marj Jawo who passes them on to the sponsors.

These reports make for hard reading as so many parents told Buba of their difficulties in feeding the family. High employment levels for the men and just petty trading for some of the women means money is always short. Many families were without mosquito nets and some children were sleeping on blankets on the floor.

If these difficulties are being experienced by families who receive sponsorship funds each month, how much worse must it be for those without this extra income?

There have been several sponsorship cancellations due to financial circumstances, redundancy etc but thankfully, some new sponsors have registered with us.

Two MA Social Work students from Sheffield University spent six weeks in Wellingara and worked with Buba and many children.  They helped Buba plan a revised assessment of need form which is now in place with need being ranked A – F( i.e urgent need to no need)

If you would like to help a child get into or to stay in education by setting up sponsorship, do get in touch with Marj Jawo, the 1to3 Sponsorship Coordinator (see contacts page)  All details are on the FAQs page.

Jolly Phonics

The Head teacher of the nursery school, Sainey Gibba reports that since Jolly Phonics was introduced to the school the number of children moving on from nursery school to Lower Basic school (7-13yrs) being able to ‘comfortably’ read, write and spell has increased year on year.

Thanks are given to Chris Jolly of Jolly Learning Ltd who donated many JP resources and funded the expenses of five JP trainers when they went to /Gambia to train several hundred teachers from around Gambia in the use of this scheme as an effective method of teaching children to read, write and spell.   Sainey is the official JP trainer for the Gambia.  info@jollylearning c.o.uk

Sponsor a child today

You have the opportunity to transform many lives by sponsoring a child for £17.50 per month. All of the sponsored money goes to the family and the community.

To find out more, visit the FAQ page and contact Marj Jawo on 01283 561260 or by email