Schools For Gambia

The Forming Of The Charity

In 1990, Mrs. Mae Winterton took a family holiday in The Gambia, and not being ones to sit around the hotel pool, or sunbath on the beach, they took time out to visit some villages, and soak up the local culture. Mae was very surprised at the abject poverty she encountered, and in particular how many villages did not have schools, and the large number of children going without any education. At some villages she witnessed children sitting under mangrove trees sheltering from the intense heat of the sun, being taught by a teacher using a rough piece of wood as a blackboard, tied to a tree or fence. The children were using bits of twigs to do their lessons in the sand, which the teacher would check, then smooth over ready for the next lesson. Some villages had schools which were derelict and out of use, and needed renovating, while others had schools made of twigs.

On returning to the UK, Mae vowed to do all that she could to help bring education to the poorer villages, believing that education is for everyone, not just the privileged. She got together with some friends, in particular Carol Downes, and over the following years they have helped to organise the building and renovating of schools, which were then furnished with desks and chairs, and all necessary teaching aids. The help was also extended to the villages, providing gardens to cultivate vegetables, and in many cases to sink wells, both for irrigation, and to provide good fresh water to drink. As well as this, the charity has supplied the hospitals and clinics with drugs and equipment. Most of the aid given has been donated by local authorities, private organisations, Rotary Clubs, and private individuals such as doctors, solicitors, and the general public.

Education is for

everyone not just

the privileged