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The Corporation

Posted: 20/01/09

Students return from charity mission in The Gambia

West Nottinghamshire College’s year 2 BTEC Travel and Tourism students are back in cooler climes, after their recent charity mission to The Gambia where they generously gave clothing, equipment, toys and stationery to disadvantaged children at a school in the city of Serekunda.

Their week long visit to the Gambia also formed part of the residential unit studied on the BTEC course which saw each member of the group involved in organising the trip.

Prior to flying out to Africa, the group of 11 students collected donations from friends, family and college staff to give to the needy pupils at the Kebba Jarjou Memorial Nursery School in Serekunda, which caters for three to eight year olds.

During the Christmas period the students raised over £1,000 worth of clothing, toys, equipment and gifts which they donated to the school.

Sarah Heeley, programme leader in Travel and Tourism, said: "The children were so excited by the gifts we'd brought them. We took along footballs and simply because of that, it meant they were able to have PE lessons. I am very proud of the students for the way they conducted themselves during visit and joined in with the children's games. I know they learnt a lot from this different culture and some are already preparing to go back next year."

The group also visited the capital of Banjul, experienced a road safari trip and enjoyed the local cuisine.

Student Hayley Mears said: "This trip to The Gambia really opened our eyes and made us realise how lucky we are to have good homes and education. Some of the children in Serekunda were too poor to even enter the school as they didn't have pencils or paper for lessons. We were delighted to be able to give out some of our supplies from home to allow these children to take part in lessons."