Category Archives: Health and Education Projects in The Gambia

Sheffield Schools support school in The Gambia

Nether Green Infant School starts vegetable garden for Jeddah Progress Nursery School (April 2010)

Nether Green Infant School in Sheffield raised £234 last Christmas to help Jeddah Progress Nursery School for 4-7 year olds in Brikama, The Gambia.  The funding is being used to start a vegetable garden in the school grounds.  The garden will help to improve children’s nutrition in the community. This area of Brikama is very poor and a typical daily diet normally consists of rice, sometimes with some peanut sauce or perhaps a little fish or meat but very little vegetables or fruit.  The project has now commenced in preparation for this year’s rainy season.  All the equipment and tools necessary to fence and dig the garden have been supplied to the school.  Planting and cultivation will start in June, the time the monsoon rains begin.  This summer they will be growing onions, carrots, cabbage, lettuce and root vegetables.

Woodthorpe Community Primary School continues the desk project at Jeddah Progress Nursery School (April 2010)

Following the supply of desks and benches to the Gambian School funded by Renishaw plc based in Gloucester last year, Chris Thew and the team at Woodthorpe Community Primary School have raised an additional £600 to go towards school improvements there.  The remaining 4 desks and 16 benches that were needed at the Gambian school are being supplied this month and the classroom floor is being concreted to improve the environment.  The remaining funds have helped towards this year’s mosquito net distribution to the new intake at the school.  Malaria is still the biggest cause of infant mortality in The Gambia. Mosquito nets are used worldwide in malarial zones and are a proven method of reducing deaths from this mosquito borne disease.  Woodthorpe has funded half of the 115 insecticide treated nets distributed by Nyodema at the school in April.

Since Nyodema started distributing nets to the school in 2007 the number of cases of malaria has noticeably reduced.

Insecticide treated mosquito nets cost approximately £5. If you would like to make a donation to future net distributions, please send a cheque made payable to ‘Nyodema’ to Shelagh Hamilton, Nyodema Treasurer, Sunnyside, 1 Park Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 2PX.
Please state that the donation is for mosquito nets.

Nyodema and the teachers and pupils at Jeddah would like to thank both schools for their generous support.



New Desks for Jeddah Progress Nursery School in Brikama

Thanks to Renishaw plc based in Gloucester for sponsoring four desks and sixteen benches and to the Di Marcos for overseeing the purchase.

The remaining desks needed at this school will be ordered in 2010 by Nyodema.

Christmas Appeal 2009

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about Christmas (or trying not to!).

Last year Nyodema ran an e-card campaign and raised enough money to pay for one of the teachers at Jeddah Progress Nursery School,  Fatou Jallow, to continue with her teacher training course for the year (last year’s campaign).

Let’s see if we can do even better this year. For those of you who didn’t see it we’ve attached last years ‘card’ and as well as a new design.

All you need to do is, rather than buying stacks of Christmas cards this year, copy one of our e-cards below into an email to all your friends – a much more enviromentally friendly way of wishing people a Happy Christmas.

The money you save on buying cards and postage can be donated to Nyodema’s Christmas Card Appeal (please email for details).

It’s a bit early but on behalf of everyone at Nyodema, the teachers and students of Jeddah Progress Nursery School may we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous (fingers crossed!) New Year.

Malaria prevention

Malaria is the biggest killer in The Gambia (malaria kills a child in Africa every 30 seconds) but the use of mosquito nets greatly reduces the risk of catching this life-threatening disease. Young children are particularly vulnerable and a net costs about £5.


Jeddah Progress Nursery School, Brikama, The Gambia
(Approximately 240 pupils aged between 4 and 7 years old – equivalent to our infant schools)

Fighting the malarial statistics was the initial driving force behind Nyodema. In 2007/8 we gave a mosquito net to every child at the school, plus one to each of the teachers and the PTA for their children – 260 nets in total.
“It was wonderful to see the children leaving the school with their nets held above their heads – a sea of blue netting leading out of the playground into the streets and, as we saw each net, being handed to each child, we know they have gone to the people they were intended for.
There has been very positive feed-back from the school that malaria rates have dropped since the nets have been distributed.” Kathryn

Since then there has been a new intake of students and a further 72 nets were distributed in June ‘09

For photographs from our visit in June 2009 click here

Florida medical students

First Aid and Dental Hygiene Training

In 2008  we put a group of American medical students from Florida in touch with Brikama Hospital. As well as taking out much needed medical equipment and carrying out an immunisation programme, they have become involved in several medical research projects in The Gambia. At our request they also delivered some first-aid training to the teachers at the nursery school we support. The training covered the most common illnesses in The Gambia (including symptoms, emergency treatment and preventative measures) as well as emergency first-aid treatment, particularly with respect to injuries (open wounds, fractures etc).

In 2009 the students returned to the school and gave the teachers a lecture on dental hygiene. They also distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to the children.

Nyodema would like to thank all the students for their on going support of Jeddah Progress Nursery School

Sponsoring a teacher through college

Fatou Jallow

One of the most promising teachers at Jeddah nursery school is Fatou Jallow. Her enthusiasm and drive for excellence stands out in class and in her overall attitude to her work. Fatou is part way through her teacher training qualification at The Gambia College, and now lacks sponsorship for years 2 and 3. Nyodema will be sponsoring Fatou’s remaining 2 years at college to ensure she qualifies and is able to make the most of her ability.

We wish Fatou every success in the future.



Teacher Training in ‘phonics’

Although English is the official language in The Gambia most children grow up speaking one of the tribal languages. As English is the primary language spoken in secondary education and in business it is essential that children start learning as soon as possible. Many of the parents have little or no English, especially women.

Phonics is an interactive method of teaching English involving actions and sounds associated with letters and words. Many schools in the UK use it and The Gambian government is now looking to introduce it in all government funded junior schools, however, this will be a very slow process and does not extend to infant schools.

In June ‘07 we visited another infant school in The Gambia that uses phonics, with Jeddah’s head teacher Lamin Saho. We were all very impressed with the standard of teaching and the children’s English and Lamin was very keen to bring phonics to his school.

Since then Nyodema has worked with the approved trainer Sainey Gibba to provide training for the teachers at both the infant school and the junior school next door.

“On subsequent visits to the schools we have been very impressed with how quickly the teachers and the children are progressing. There has been excellent feed-back from the teachers who have suggested that other schools in the area would also benefit from the training.” Kathryn


Teachers on Nyodema's first Phonics Training Course

Teachers on Nyodema's first Phonics Training Course


Jeddah 3

Training for teachers from other infant schools in the Brikama area has been organized to coincide with our June ‘09 visit. This will be Nyodema’s fourth Phonics course. Nyodema has also provided over-sized “Jolly Phonics” books and other teaching aids for all the schools that take part in the training.


 For more photographs of Nyodema’s projects in The Gambia please click here.