Delyth’s trip to Gambia

Delyth, a part of our Development Team, headed to Gambia at the end of November to visit Mansa-Maru Nursery School where she has been a regular volunteer since 2015!

When Delyth first visited the Atlantic Coast of Gambia over 7 years ago, Mansa-Maru Nursery School was under a Baobab tree, where 150 children and their 6 teachers would come together, with no running water and no electricity. Delyth reminisced how humbled she was to see the children and teachers learning and singing, with so little resources yet they seemed so happy. They were passionate about improving the lives of the little people in their care!

“My most recent trip to Gambia was so heart-warming. Now Mansa-Maru has 100 pupils and 4 teachers, so the quality of education has improved hugely. Fundraising has meant the school has been able to install 2 toilets and a clean, running water tap! The 12th Aberdare Girl Guides group raised £300 as part of their International Badge and OK Scaffolding, a local company in Aberdare matched the Girl Guides £300 too. It is this kind of fundraising which makes all this possible! This £600 will pay for a teacher for a whole year at Mansa-Maru Nursery School.

Delyth even took over some Penny Post merch including pens, notebooks and mini tote bags, all which will come in handy in school!

Children of Mansa-Maru Nursery School using the newly installed running water tap, and showing their new Penny Post Group bags

How did COVID effect Mansa- Maru in Gambia?

The Gambian government offered no support to residents throughout the pandemic, and many parents were either too scared to send their children to school or simply couldn’t afford it. Gambia’s population is only 2.4 million people, smaller than Wales, so when the world locked down and their income from tourism came to a holt, families had no income whatsoever!

With just 150 children attending the school and this number rapidly decreasing, Sannah Jobarteh, Mansa-Maru’s Head Teacher, was unable to afford the 6 teachers and unfortunately had to let them go.
However, as they start to recover after covid the school has now 100 pupils regularly attending Mansa-Maru, there are 4 teachers ready to support the children of Dunbung Village.

“My sister-in-law who is a Welsh speaking school teacher now supports Sannah with Mansa-Maru Nursery School, and I support Armstrong, Sannah’s brother, with the development of his tourism business.”

It is great to see how Delyth’s love for travel and helping others has spread throughout her family; even Delyth’s son has caught her travel bug since traveling to Gambia in 2007 at just 9 years old. He climbed Kilimanjaro at 18, ice climbed in the Pyrenes and is due to trek base camp Everest in Napal early next year!

We’re so proud of Delyth and her accomplishments in Gambia, and we cannot wait to see what’s next in store for Mansu-Maru Nursery School!

Want to keep up with Delyth and what she’s up to? Connect with her on LinkedIn here!