Gambia, London Corner School

From Fr Kenny:

I’m off to London this afternoon, the first step on my way to The Gambia on Tuesday. My case is full of clothes for the kids, as ever, and a few odds and ends for other folk.

My love affair with The Gambia began eight years ago, when, because it was the only sunny holiday available, I found myself in West Africa in November to “soak up some rays”. I had read of, and preached on, Third World poverty, but when it hits you on the face like a wet kipper, and you actually see and feel what it actually means, life can never quite be the same again.

One day I found myself outside a school in Serrekunda, the largest town in The Gambia, in a street which was constructed of hardwood, cardboard and corrugated iron, dust flying everywhere, with ten pupils and forty to fifty children trying to peer in to see what was being taught. London Corner, in Serrekunda, is the poorest area in one of the poorest towns in the world. The children outside couldn’t pay for their education, and were therefore excluded. I started by paying the fees of two or three of them to attend. The rest is history.

It was like Topsy, it growed and growed, and within a year I had a fairly large number of people who wanted to buy into the concept of free education and a feeding programme for London Corner.

Today we have a beautiful school, attended by 90 of the poorest children in London Corner, and we provide free education, a free feeding programme and free health care for our children when they are sick. We employ eight or nine people from teachers to cooks to watchmen, and feed eight extended families as a result. I’m proud of the way that the people of Dumbarton and beyond have responded and have made this happen. We send out close to £1,200 every month to continue this work and the cash is closely monitored.

However, we have a problem. The landlord wants his building back and our agreement with him is due to end in January. He seems intransigent and I need face to face meetings with him to see if there is any compromise. We have spent thousands of pounds on his property and can’t afford to begin again.

Is this the end of Dumbarton/London Corner Nursery School? Possibly. I need my blogging pals to pray hard that this week we can find a solution, and continue to provide free education to this area. I will do my best, but we don’t have a lot to bargain with.

Please pray for Kenny, for the school, and for the meetings this week.  and if you feel moved enough to make a donation to the School, email Kenny via the link on his blog

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3 thoughts on “Gambia, London Corner School

  1. Kenny says:

    Have returned with an agreement that peace will reign! I feel a bit like Neville Chamberlain! Anyhow, the school is safe for another three years at least!

  2. Ali says:

    great news Kenny!

  3. lorna macallum says:

    dear kenny,I too have been to London Corner School in January 2008,loved the experience,we had alot of clothes pencil, tooth brushs and paste and bits an bobs,donated from Asda in Dumbarton in which we took to the school,we got songs on arrival,we had a small child with us who loved it,sitting in with the children as if she was at school here we got the delights of cuddles as we left,i liked how the school was run an the children with a smile on there faces an there yellow uniforms on,we invited the head teacher back to our hotel near the senegambia strip,she arrived with her grand daughter which we were delighted with.sharing a drink she gave us a letter an photos to which we sent you, i am so glad of the news of the school being safe an running well,will always have them in my mind,would like to keep in contact of any news,good and bad.will be visiting again and i was also wondering if there is any oppertunities of being part of the next travels to Serekunda, i know live in England an would like to give u my address,if poss,i could have the updates and or photos.I used to run a youth club in Arrochar,and when i was in the Gambia managed to set up a penpal for the children who attended ages 14yrs to 18 yrs,they were delighted to get response from the children in Gambia as they sent each other letters,

    (PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED, but forwarded to Kenny – ALI)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this,and i hope to hear from you soon,best wishes,
    Lorna Macallum.

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