St Peter’s Nursery School
St Peter’s Nursery School has 235 children attending and is located on the site of St Peter’s Basic Cycle and Secondary Schools, which have 3,000 students, in Lamin. Although the Basic Cycle School is run by the Catholic Mission and is part funded by The Gambian Government, Secondary School and Nursery School parents have to pay fees.
The Nursery School has 5 classes each with almost 50 children crowded in, and parents pay fees of £30-£40 per year. In addition to this parents have to pay for uniform and supply all the stationery and books needed for school. Many parents cannot afford to pay the fees so the children either stop attending school or they attend but the school receives no money for them. This means that the school has very few resources, cannot afford to employ more teachers or do any much-needed repair work to the school.
The school serves a very poor community so many of the children arrive at school hungry because their families do not have enough income to provide even the barest minimum of food. As a result many children are withdrawn from school, and to earn money to provide food for the family, have to engage in street trading thus exposing them to risks including sexual abuse, child trafficking, teenage pregnancies, and child labour.
Until July 2019 the school was one of a number (Wisdom Nursery School St Peter’s Nursery School and Omega Nursery School) being supported by the Gambian charity Grace Foundation to keep these children off the streets through a feeding programme. That programme gave children a daily nutritious meal, ensured their attendance at school, and safeguarded them from the risks of being on the streets. However due to unforeseen circumstances Grace Foundation were no longer able to fund the programme and many children were therefore at risk again.
Project Gambia was approached by Grace Foundation to see if we could help so we first visited the school in November 2019 and then again in February 2020. During this visit a team of adult volunteers and students from The Royal School Wolverhampton engaged the children in a range of activities and games with the children. We also started to refurbish the school which will continue to do on future visits.
We have agreed that Project Gambia will support the feeding programme which will be restarted when the school reopens after Covid-19.
For more information about the feeding programme please visit the Projects section of the website.