Jurunku, North Bank Division
Science, Art & Music
In Jurunku, North Bank Division, HopeFirst volunteers taught science classes at Jurunku Lower Basic School, involving students in science experiments, and music and art projects. Barbara Trenary saw to it that eruptions and explosions were an hourly occurrence. Manuals for 100 simple science experiments, along with supplies were left with the teachers for continued science exploration.
Terry Bergstedt and her daughters, Morgan and Stephanie brought color coded xylophones and bells (with laminated music) to encourage the connection between the music and counting, reading and teamwork. They also worked on many art projects including self portraits, leaving the classrooms much brighter, filled with the children’s art. They left musical instruments and art supplies following their visit.
Donated solar panels were mounted on the roof of the school and Katy Bradford, a HF volunteer installed wiring and fixtures to light 3 rooms, a 12 volt charging system, and 12 volt plugs for each room to power a laptop!
Cameras Without Borders
Eberhard Reidel worked with a group of street kids at a community center in Tandeling with small groups of children, mostly 6th graders, giving each child a small digital camera to take pictures of his or her environment. At the end of the day, each child got to choose 2 pictures to print and take home.
Munyegen and Saaba, North Bank Region
Sandy distributed some of the 1000 pair of shoes she procured from CROCS, with decreasing hookworm infestation the ultimate goal.
Medina Wallum and Sambang– Central River Division
In Medina Wallum and Sambang, volunteers continued with more science and art teaching and fun with students and teachers.
Terry Bergstedt and Mr. Djemba Jallow, the headmaster and fellow artist, painted a mural on the outside wall of the newly built school in Medina Wallum. Funds to build the school were procured in 2008 by HF volunteer Barbara Trenary. The mural represents many important points in the lives of Gambians. Morgan, Stephanie, and Katy were also part of the artistic team.
In Sambang, Eberhard and Stephanie Clark wowed children with more photo fun.
Soccer uniforms donated by the West Seattle Soccer Club were delivered to 4 village schools just in time for the annual Sport Week, a competition between the villages. The kids have been preparing for the week throughout the school year.
Both girls and boys teams benefited from the uniforms. Fatou Mata Jallow, a recipient of donated educational funds and a skilled soccer player, was along to coach the girls. Most villages only have teams for boys. Fatou Mata served as coach and role model for the girls.
Sandy Murray visited a small clinic in Nana, to work alongside fellow nurse, Alpha Jallow, for a day. Jallow is the only health care provider for ten surrounding villages. He does everything from deliver babies to treating malaria. In the rainy season, over 300 children under age 5 will present with fever each month. Without diagnostics, all are treated for malaria. He frequently runs short of medicines, as well as running the risk of overtreatment and parasite resistance. A donated microscope from The Gathering Project of Tacoma, Washington was presented to the clinic. Already trained to interpret the malaria parasite microscopically, nurse Jallow accepted the gift, knowing he will be able to improve the care he gives to his patients.
HopeFirst also provided aid for eye surgery to correct for congenital cataracts in a little girl named Mai. Mai has four siblings, but is being raised by her widowed grandmother. As a result of surgery, Mai will be able to attend school. Surgery has improved her vision and appearance, prevented otherwise inevitable blindness, and significantly increases her ability to live a more independent life.