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Kingswood Secondary Academy

Gambia Trip 2013

On 11th February 2013 20 students, teachers and former Kingswood staff visited Penyem Village in The Gambia.  During their visit they spent three days in the village.  The staff were teaching lessons and the students supporting classes in the nursery and the upper basic school.

 “The journey was long and cold but upon arriving at Bengal airport we experienced beautiful weather and friendly people.  The point of our journey was to visit Penyem village and the children that we sponsor through the Northampton Trust Charity set up by Andy Butler.  During our week there, we spent three days at the village. On the first day we visited the secondary school and were welcomed by the students and staff with a song, but our main focus that day was to visit the lower school and the younger children. 

As we pulled up to the school the children were lining the street and chanting ‘Welcome Kingswood! Welcome!’ We were introduced to the children and spent that day playing with them and watching traditional Gambian dancing and drumming.  On the second village day we all spent time helping in the school. I was helping in the nursery which had 82 children in a room the size of one of our Kingswood classrooms!  The children sang us songs and showed us how they could count to 20.  

The third village day, each of us spent the day with the child we sponsored; I visited my sponsored child’s home and met her family. It was interesting to see where she lived because it was a basic house with three beds and chickens running around inside. 15 people lived in the home. The family killed a chicken in my honour and I watched as it was prepared for eating.  During our visit the Kingswood students and Gambian students had a football match which our side won. Overall it was a great experience and one I will treasure for a long time to come.”
 
By Laurie Magee, Teacher.