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Culture

Karantaba Ladies Group

April 2014

On our recent visit to Bakang/Karantaba L B Primary School, we were greeted by the Ladies Group dressed in their very colorful outfits, which they had made from material they chose and bought with money from our charity. There was plenty of singing and dancing and they made sure that we knew they were there! It was a wonderful greeting yet again.

Coming along the road to greet us
Coming along the road to greet us
Demonstrating a dance
Demonstrating a dance
Julie with the group
Julie with the group


Presentation of Sports Kit

Following a request last year from Hon Amadou Khan, MP for the Jokadu District, we were invited to the large sports center at Bakau. Here, on his behalf, we presented 26 sets of football kit, shirts, shorts and socks to representatives of two football teams from Kuntair on the North bank. These football kits were bought in The Gambia, with money raised at the "Steam Up" held at Station Road, Darley Dale, on 10th August 2013. Micheal and Hazel Mottram had heard of Amadou's request and said they would like the money to be used for this purpose. We were also able to give each team a quality football which we had brought from England. There were a number of Government Officials at this presentation, but the one thing missing was the usual 30,000 spectators, who normally pack this stadium! Never mind, it was another case of our charity helping those who strive to give others not so fortunate, some enjoyment.

Kit inspection
Kit inspection
5 Models & 1 ball boy
5 Models & 1 ball boy
Presentation Group
Presentation Group
No spectators - just 3 Egrets
No spectators - just 3 Egrets


The Nawal Kanyeleng Club, Bakang Village.

November 2014

During our latest visit to the village of Bakang Julie had a meeting with the ladies of the above club to discuss their written request to have a Skills Centre in the village, so that they would be able to generate some money to help towards their financial situation. Their wish is to be able to produce some tie/dye fabric, dress making and to make soap. We have discussed this proposition with our charity members and they agree that it would be a commendable project to support, subject to the financial outlay being monitored.

When Julie discussed the proposal with the members of the group she made it very clear that:

  1. They would be responsible for acquiring the land as this would not be bought by the charity.
  2. Be careful about the choice of location, as it would have to be near a source of water. She made it clear that there would be NO piped water to the building and NO electricity provided by the charity.
  3. They would have to organise the digging out of the foundations and the making of the concrete blocks. This would have to be done by the villagers free of charge – as was the case with the Health Clinic.
  4. The charity will pay for the materials to make the blocks - there should be moulds at the clinic that could be borrowed for this job.
  5. The charity will also pay the mason for the building, a 'roofer' to attach the roofing materials and a carpenter to do the necessary woodwork. Steel security bars are to be built into each window. Doors are to have strong security locks.
  6. Once the building was completed, our charity would furnish it with the necessary materials, which would be needed, i.e. sewing machines, fabrics, chemicals etc, as well as the utensils required, so that work come commence.
  7. We suggest that a secure room is built within the main building, not attached to it as was first thought. We feel that this is necessary for security reasons, there being dangerous chemicals in use, which need to be kept under lock and key. An attached building would be obvious and might attract interest from the wrong quarters and would be more easily accessible.

Once the ladies have managed to produce articles for sale we will expect them to pay for all the running costs and be completely independent of our charity.
We now await confirmation that this written agreement is acceptable to the Nawal Kanyeleng Club and that the construction plans will be drawn up accordingly. When we receive a copy of these plans, including all the measurements, we will be able to estimate the cost of this next project.

Nawally Skill Centre @ Bakang

November 2015

It is now 12 months since Julie had her discussion with the ladies of the Nawally Kanyeleng Club, following their written request for financial help to build a Skill Centre in their village, at Bakang. We are pleased to say that further progress has been made, since then. The club was able to get professional plans drawn up and the cost of the building worked out. We looked through these plans when Lamin Jarjou made his annual visit to the UK early this Summer. Having studied the plans we were able to make some slight changes and agree a fixed financial package for the construction of the building. We asked Lamin if he would please take on the job as Project Manager, for this latest venture, to which we are delighted to say he agreed. Armed with our agreement to finance this project at a fixed price we sent Lamin back to the ladies with the good news. On his return to The Gambia Lamin discussed, with the ladies, the changes that he and we thought should be made, to the plans, and explained about the fixed financial package we had proposed. The ladies were very happy to agree with the suggestions that we made and the allocation of the money to cover the expenses.

PLAN OF THE PROPOSED SKILL CENTRE TO BE ERECTED @ BAKANG VILLAGE

Overall Appearance
Overall Appearance
Floor Plan
Floor Plan


Since then we have forwarded money to buy materials to make the concrete building blocks. Unfortunately, Ramadan held up work for a month and then this was followed by the ‘rainy’ season. However, we are delighted to say that we have heard and now seen that progress is going ahead. The head of the village, the Akaylo, gave strict instructions that the young men, in the village, were to help the ladies by making the concrete blocks and digging out the trenches for the foundations to be laid. With both of these jobs completed a contractor was hired and he soon had the foundations completed, and, as can be seen from the first photos that have been sent, he is now well forward with the construction of the building.

Below are the first photos we have showing the progress so far.

Concrete Blocks Ready to Use
Concrete Blocks
Ready to Use
Time for Refreshments Thirsty Job for Mason
Time for Refreshments
Thirsty Job for Mason
Part of the Front Wall Up to the lintel
Part of the Front Wall
Up to the lintel
One End of the Building
One End of the Building



In an attempt to avoid possible price rises, for the building materials, we have already allocated over 1/2 of the cost of construction in advance. This has given Lamin the opportunity to buy forward certain materials, which could rise in price. He has also managed to obtain a dry safe storage area in which to keep these materials.

With this good news we are now looking around for some basic machinery which we know the ladies will require, i.e. sewing machines with spare parts, for dress making etc. In the case of soap making and Tie Dye it should be possible to buy the pans & containers needed in The Gambia at competitive prices and so save on carriage costs to The Gambia. Also work benches could be made on site if the correct materials are bought.



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