International Help Brings Hope to The Gambia

6 Jul 23

A HEART-WARMING moment has been reached as ALNS strives to help a Gambian school on the brink of bankruptcy.  

In 2006, one of our outstanding teachers, Mrs Lucas, started trips to The Gambia, (which is a country in the west of Africa). 

This then led on to The Gambia week which ends with The Gambia Evening. Did you know, the country is called ‘The Gambia’, not just Gambia? Weird, right? 

Admiral Lord Nelson School has partnered with the Daral Akram Orphan School, which is run by Oustass Njie.  

Our school is planning on raising £7,000 for the school and so far we have raised £400. Last year, the evening was a virtual event due to Covid-19. As well as the money, we give them our old computers that still function well, whenever IT upgrades our devices. 

Every class from Year 7 puts work towards The Gambia Evening, be it the history of The Gambia or the lore of the Ninki Nanka, a mythological beast that lurks in the swamps of West Africa. 

In design we created traditional tie-dye – beautiful explosions of colour – and a traditional meal in food tech. In drama, we did the story of the porcupine and the jackal, using physical theatre to express the emotions of the character and to show the places that ever character visited. In music we did a call and response drumming performance, since it is common in The Gambia for locals to use drums. This year, The Gambia Evening took place on June 22 in the drama studio. Luka, a student who participated in the evening, said: ‘The evening was extremely fun, with the Year 7 work presented around the room and the performances.’ 

Emma, who was also present, added: ‘The evening was very entertaining and I loved the Gambian food they served to us at the end. It was like every-day food but with a Gambian twist added to it.’ 

At Easter, the Year 11s were lucky enough to go on a trip to The Gambia, for a week in paradise. They visited the Daral Akram Orphan School and spoke to the pupils, learning about what it is like to live in The Gambia, with the struggles of the harsh weather and money against you. But obviously the highlight of the trip was the monkeys. The Year 11s got to play with some mischievous monkeys, an experience they thoroughly enjoyed. 

As Mrs Lucas, after 20 years of working at ALNS and the creator of The Gambia Evening, is leaving this year, we do not know if this will continue.  

A teacher will be taking over from her but we are unsure if it will be the same. ALNS supports Daral Akram Orphan School by supplying salary, computing resources and learning supplies to improve their education and we hope we can support it in its financial difficulties.