The library project began in 1999 in the village of Dankunku, located approximately 160 miles from the capitol city of Banjul. With books and funds from donors, GambiaHELP transformed an abandoned storage room inside the school into a library large enough for 10 students and 1 volunteer.
On January 22, 2001, an additional 25,000 books donated to GambiaHELP arrived in the capital city of Banjul. Director Shelby Tarutis was on site to help unload the books and distribute them to over 50 primary and secondary schools, as well as resource centers throughout the country.
In 2002, GambiaHELP donated 15,000 books to schools and resource centers throughout The Gambia. Recipient schools included primary, secondary and college level facilities. Recipient school list.
In 2003, over 10,000 books for all age and educational levels have been distributed to primary and secondary school, colleges, libraries and communities center throughout rural Gambia. Although the total number of books was less than previous years, this year for the first time GambiaHELP received books from volunteers throughout the United States. For example students at La Pietra Girls School in Honolulu sent over 33 boxes of books. In addition, schools throughout the midwest have sent shipments for inclusion in the container. This year's shipment left Seattle on December 19, 2002, and arrived in The Gambia in early February. Trip Diary 2003.
In 2004, approximately
25,000 books were shipped to The Gambia. We provided books to several
schools for library development. These schools
Sara Soffie Library,
Kerewan Library, The Gambia College, University of The Gambia, St.
Joseph's Girl's School, Dankunku Basic Cycle School, Kiang Karantaba
Medical Library, Kwinella Upper Basic School, Kalaji Upper Basic School,
Sareh Alpha School, Sambang Lower Basic School/Upper Basic School,
Brileanaba Lower Basic School, Palealinding Upper Basic School, Armitage
Secondary School, The Gambia Medical School, Nasir Senior Secondary
35 boxes of books as well as other educational supplies including pens and pencils went to the Dankunku Basic Cycle School Library. The library, which was started in 1999 has been expanded three times and still requires an additional expansion. Currently, the students are able to visit the library three times each week. If the adjacent classroom block is renovated into a library, the students will have daily access to books and study time. A visit to the library demonstrated the need for more space – children were sitting shoulder to shoulder around tables and on chairs in order to access the facilities. The expansion of the library has been estimated to cost $900. We are having a raffle and other fundraising activities to fund this project in 2005.
We are delighted to have received so many book donations from schools and individuals. We are always looking for more. Please see our Detailed Book Donation Guidelines for more information. If you have books to donate, please contact Shelby Tarutis at 206.542.3056 or via email or to make a cash donation to this project using the Pay Pal link below.
Sofanyama Primary School Library: This school is located in the village of Katamina. The classroom block that was empty last year has been restored and is now a library. The room has been painted and has a built-in cement benches and a table. A small alcove in the room will be used to place a desk for a librarian. The library now needs furniture – tables and chairs and a desk. We plan to send funds to Katamina so that a local carpenter can make the furniture this library needs. An estimate of the cost to make the furniture is $500.00. The headmaster would like to upgrade a classroom block adjacent to the library for a reading room. An estimate of the cost of materials is $2500.00.
Mt. Carmel School: This is new school for GambiaHELP. We toured the school during trip 2 with Mr. Sanyang, the Headmaster. Mr Sanyang presented the constraints limiting the school’s development. This school, built in 1952 as a Catholic school now has a Muslim student body. The school appears well run with 250 students. The curriculum is clear and progressive. The school also has a school garden project that helps to develop an understanding of the environment.
There is a building on the grounds which once served as a home for a pastor. It is now empty and in disrepair. Mr. Sanyang would like to develop this space into a library. He pointed out that the building is strong and only needs refurbishing. The purpose of the library would be to serve both students and community members. An estimate of the cost is $2500.00.
also told us about a young boy who is unable to go to school because
his family cannot pay the school fees or purchase
He had been going to school only to be asked to go home again.
Lis, GambiaHELP Board Member donated funds for Abdoulie Ceesay
to attend school
for the 2006-2007 academic year.
The Book Project: GambiaHELP sent two containers to The Gambia this year. One container was 40-feet long and the other 20-feet. In addition to books, we shipped medical equipment, computers, bicycles and used clothing. In the 20-foot container, there were 19,800 new college and primary level textbooks. The 40-foot container had 6,000 books for primary, secondary, college and university levels. A smaller proportion of primary level books were distributed this year. Next year, GambiaHELP will focus the book collection on mainly primary level books since these are in exceptionally high demand. We delivered books to the Women’s Bureau, the Gambia Teacher’s Union, YMCA, YWCA, Gambia Technical Training Institute, Gambia Teacher’s Union, the Teacher’s college, Nasir Senior Secondary School and Armitage Senior Secondary School.
The US Peace Corps in The Gambia requested books for the following
Plus book boxes for the following:
In addition to these
requests we have requests for books from Gambia College and Royal Victoria
We are delighted to have received so many book donations from schools and individuals. We are still looking for more. We especially need primary school level materials: children’s books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and teaching aids. Multiple copies of the same book are like finding gold when collecting books. Detailed book donation guidelines.
We also hold packing parties regularly to sort and pack books destined for Gambian schools and libraries. Come share food, drink, and fun with us as we prepare our next shipment of books. Contact Shelby Tarutis for more information or check out our News & Events page for information on the next scheduled party.
Thanks from Recipient School in The Gambia
Seringe Mass Basic Cycle School
August 28, 2003
On behalf of the entire institution and on our own behalf as the library committee, we write to formally thank you for your support. Our school library is what it is today because of your valuable support and contribution. We want to reciprocate by thanking you in writing. From the bottom of our hearts and depth of our souls, your support materially, is highly appreciated.
Moreover, the learning materials which have been sent to us were timely. they came at a time when we were reconstructing our school library. These materials will go a long way in improving the academic excellence of our students. At our present level or status as a basic cycle school we can boast among many schools that our library is a standard one. Our students now can read so diversely. All teachers consult the library in order to facilitate an easy learning environment in their various classes.
In addition to this, you can be fully assured that the learning materials given to our school, particularly those in the library, will be properly maintained. We are cognizant of your kind gesture and love for the advancement of education in The Gambia.
Finally, we, the members of the Library Committee, treasure and value your support. Words through writing will be very weak to express our sincere appreciation. Although far physically, we know you are with us in our academic pursuit.
Maam Faatim Senghore
|© 2002-2008 GambiaHELP||GambiaHELP is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) in the USA, and an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).|