Funding for a full time medical worker is secured!

We are delighted to announce that we have managed to secure enough funding to pay for a full time medical worker/doctor for the next year. You may recall that the villagers asked if we could help with this when I visited last Easter. Some of you were kind enough to send personal donations towards this - for which we thank you again. Just this week a company called IMERJA who have supported us in the past with provision of mosquito nets contacted us and offered £1000 towards the fund. This will pay for the salary of the worker. This, combined with the donations you sent will also pay for basic medicines etc to get the project fully up and running.

We will also hold onto some of the remaining money (£300) to start the fund for the worker to be employed for a second year - so further donations will be still very welcome!!!!!!!!!

Chief Kolley is obviously so pleased and he thanks us all on behalf of the villagers of Penyem. He is currently advertising the position and will hold interviews soon.

December 2009 visit.

NTF founder members Andrew and Anne Butler made a visit to Penyem on Thursday 4 December 2009. The Gambian visit was to prepare for the school visit by The Kingswood School in February 2010. The day spent in Penyem was a greatly useful day as we were able to go to the neighbouring Busura Primary School and Penyem Upper Basic School.

We were welcomed in the now usual way of the children singing and waving flags. The drummers were local boys using drums presented to the village last April. A nice touch was the banner made up to celebrate Anne's birthday!

Once in the village we gave our gifts which this time were a variety of things. Whiteboards and markers from The Abbey Primary School, football shirts from Moulton Magpies, a full set of games equipment and a wheelbarrow from Imerja.

We were able to add to the collection of musical instruments previously donated to the school with two wooden xylaphones. Furthermore, in our boxes we had general school stationary, books and posters, all of which was gratefully received by Chief Kolley.

We then had a short tour of the NTF projects. It was interesting to see the village in what is their springtime with trees in full leaf and the vegetation fully grown.

The afternoon was mainly spent at the two other schools in the area. These schools provide the education for the children from the surrounding villages including Penyem children. The conditions were very poor, with little or no equipment, basic furniture and overcrowded classrooms.

Back to school with Saja Camara!

During our visit we were also able to present a laptop to Martina Mendy, another of the sposored children who is now at college study IT. Martina is hoping to get a job in the hospitality industry.

Finally, during our visit we were please to present the village with £1000 to employ the full time nurse from January. We game an additional £300 for medical equipment and medicines and a further £200 for the redocoration of the medical centre and for basic furniture.

'Doctor' fund rises above £700!

During the visit in April we were asked to consider providing funding for a full time medical attendant for the village. This is to cost £1000. In the short time up to date (July) we have received over £700 in donations. This is fantastic! Thanks everyone!

April 2009 Visit.

Andy Butler, founder member of NTF returned to The Gambia in April 2009. Andy travelled by himself on this occasion. Each year the original family holiday turns more into a business trip. I am sure those who do similar work in the Gambia can understand this!

This year the 'gift' to Penyem School was musical instruments. I took 30 recorders, a clarinet, some boomwhackers (plastic tubes which when hit play notes), 6 sets of percussion instruments and I bought some local drums which were donated by Millway Primary School. In the photo Veronic Gomez receives the musical instruments on behalf of the school. Veronic is sponsored by Millway.

A further gift was 20kg of pens, pencils etc. donated at the very last minute from the generous children of Moulton Primary School. This photo shows Mai Colley receiving the stationary. Mai has lifetime sponsorship from Moulton School.

Other gifts were given to the school that had been donated by Uk residents.

During the visit to the village I was treated to breakfast and lunch of rice and chicken cooked by the ladies. There was a football match played between Penyem and a neighbouring village.

I was able to inspect the various projects that NTF is involved in. The Village Development Committee told me of a bee keeping project and the ongoing need to repair the water tanks. Chief Kolley showed me how some of NTF's money had been spent in repairing school furniture. Last year's initiative from Imerja had allowed every household to take delivery of at least one mosquito net -BRILLIANT!

The Izusu Trooper was being put to good use as the village ambulance and I was able to see documented evidence of it's trips to health centres and hospitals.

Of course, one of the main reasons for the visit was to see the sponsored school children. This project is going.particularly well. In the photo below you can see all of the sponsored children.

One of the next major projects is to provide a full time medical attendant at the village health centre, so we would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to help in funding this position.

The photo below was taken by the villagers to show the distribution of the mosquito nets donated by Imerja.

Kingswood School to visit Penyem!

Year 13 students from The Kingswood School in Corby are to visit Penyem in February 2010. NTF board members Andy and Anne Butler will take a party of 17 to stay in The Gambia for a week. During their stay the students will run soccer schools in Penyem village for the local children. This is part of The Kingswood School's Sports Leadership Academy which is run by Andy as part of his teaching role at the school.

Planning is in it's early stages, but the students are looking for sponsorship to help with their costs and to provide equipment to run the soccer schools. Can you help? Call Andy Butler on 07812111187!