Here Mae is pointing to the charity logo, and list of the sponsors names.
The original Cornerstones Nursery School, on the left, and on the right the replacement Cornerstones, paid for by Mae Winterton, charity founder. The ongoing upkeep of the school has been taken on by a number of sponsors - their names are listed on the outer wall. This is one of only a few schools which has a tiled floor, and which help to keep the classroom cool.
All of the army barracks have their own school rooms for the children of the soldiers, but most of them also take in children from the surrounding area.
The lefthand photo shows the first nursery which we installed at a barracks - this one is at Farafenni. The next photo was taken when we delivered desks and chairs to the Fajara barracks. The third photo shows the Yumdum barracks’ nursery, following which we see Mae handing the headmaster of Yumdum several dozen pencils. The second gentleman from the right is Major General Lamin Bojang, commander of Yumdum barracks and The Gambian Armed Forces.
The above pictures were taken on ‘Open Day’ at Jam Jam School - a recent new-build sponsored by four schools from Dudley. The schools are ‘Milking Bank Primary School’, ‘Neatherbrook Primary School’, ‘St.Marys’ C of E Primary School’, and ‘Foxyard Primary School’. The first photo shows Mae with representatives from the sponsors, and in the second Mae is surrounded by teachers and helpers from Jam Jam. The children are sitting on chairs which have just been presented by Schools For Gambia, while waiting for their dinner being prepared by dinner ladies.
On one of our Gambia trips, representatives from Clifton Primary School, Balsall Heath, were in our party, and when we visited Pallen Fullen School, they observed how dull the classrooms appeared. On their return to the UK, they got their pupils to design and colour abstract drawings to decorate the walls of Pallen Fullen School, and generally brighten the classrooms.
One of the schools we service, Janak, is located on an island in the River Gambia. We drive to a clearing in the mangrove swamp and they send a canoe over to collect us. Most times, some of the children come to the river to greet us, offering to carry items, and sometimes carry us, but we always decline and paddle to shore ourselves. On one occasion when we returned to the vehicle it would not start, so had to be “bump-started”.
The above photo shows the state the battery was in, so it was a wonder we got to our destination in the first place.