Sponsorship for 2019.

We offer a chance to sponsor our work in a number of ways. The best way is to contact us through this website. To sponsor a child please click on the Donate tab. There you will find the sponsor forms. It costs so little to sponsor a child but the result is so large. We are also keen to gain sponsorship in many other areas but please consider sponsoring a classroom. Without the classroom – and therefore, school, the children cannot be educated! NTF funds the school. Please can you help? Email us at andrewbutler56@gmail.com. Thanks.

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December 2018 Update!

It’s been a while – but that doesn’t mean nothing has been happening! We have come to the end of another busy and successful year. It all seemed to come together in December.

Andy and Anne laying the foundation stone.

In previous posts you will have read about the visit to Penyem by Tracey and Harvey Whittaker Smith from Northampton Trampoline and Gymnastics Academy. At the time they offered to help fundraise for a particular project in the village. It was decided to build a covered assembly and sports area at Penyem Nursery School. On 2 December they held a fantastic event at their sports centre – ‘The Greatest Show’. ALI_4085-768x549This was a combination of Trampolining, Gymnastics, Dance and Song. It took two shows to accommodate the huge demand for tickets. The end result of all the hard work by everyone at the club was a truly brilliant donation of £4500. This more than pays for the construction of the building. Building work has already started. On 6 December, Andy and Anne were in Penyem to lay the foundation stone for what is known as locally as a ‘Bantabar’.

During the trip we were accompanied by David Tristram and John Dixon who were representing Corby Pheonix Rotary Club. They and the club are long time supporters of our work in Penyem. About a year ago NTF was approached by Mr Bah, the Headteacher of Penyem Upper Basic School. He was requesting financial support for the refurbishment of his school’s Home Economics room. Previously, Corby Pheonix and funded the replacement of the roof in which the room is housed. We met with Mr Bah in the NTF office. After lengthy and detailed discussions it was agreed by John and David to make funding up to £4000 to equip the new room with everything from Gas cookers to knives and forks! This project would start in early January and would take a short time to complete. More information about this will be posted very soon.

We continues our discussions with the village women about the provision of a Community Milling Machine. We made it very clear that this project had to be self sufficient. However, we agreed that a secure and suitable building should be part of the funding in addition to training etc. The total cost would be around

£3500. We are hopeful that these plans can be started early in 2019.

During the trip we were able to continue what has become an annual event – the distribution of sacks of rice with funds from many or our child sponsors. A 50KG sack of rice is way beyond the pockets of most of the families. So the delivery of sacks is a great joy to all. This year we asked the families to come and collect the rice from a central point. What a colourful occasion it was! 3500 tonnes of rice!

We never forget the village Sports Committee.

Andy and Anne with Penyem ‘Cobblers’ The all girls team!

This time we donated 20 footballs. We were delighted to also donate a full Northampton Town Football Kit for thew village girls team. We now know them as Penyem Cobblers! (Northampton Town are known as The Cobblers)!

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Cedar Road Primary School Fundraiser – June 2018.

For the second year children from the Reception Classes from Cedar Road Primary School in Northampton took part in a fundraising day for Penyem.crdrum

In the morning both classes took part in workshops where they were introduced to what life was like in Penyem for children of a similar age. These workshops involved seeing video of every day life, practising carrying pretend buckets of water on their heads, and of course the ever popular drumming and dancing. The children and teachers had a great time!

In the afternoon all the children took part in a sponsored assault course to raise funds for a tiled floor in a new Reception and Day Care classroom in Penyem Village School. The end result was a fantastic £544.48!

Thank you!

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April Visit 2018.

Andy returned to Penyem in April 2018 to finally launch the Malaria Medication Programme. The visit also included a whole village meeting on the Saturday of the trip. The meeting was probably one of the best initiatives taken by NTF recently. It was good to have an honest exchange of views of everyone.


During the meeting it became clear that the villagers dis not fully understand how NTF operated in Penyem. Over the years NTF had ‘given’ the village many things. These included the ambulance, the funding of the school, the salaries of the Health Centre staff. ThIMG_0080e misconception or misunderstanding of the villagers was that since NTF had ‘given’ these things, they should be free to the citizens of Penyem. During the meeting it was made clear that although NTF had ‘given’ these things, the villagers also had to contribute by paying a little to use the ambulance, or a small fee for schooling of their children. NTF could not fully fund projects that required constant refinancing.


In particular the situation involving treatment for Malaria was a topic of discussionIMG_0084. Andy made it very clear that the malaria medication was not free and they had to pay – just like they would if they went for treatment at Brikama hospital or anywhere else for that matter. The difference would be that if they could not pay the full amount, they could pay part of the cost and the remaining amount would be classed as a loan.

 This seemed to be well received and fully understood by all who attended the meeting. Some came forward with meaningful questions and suggestion and a healthy debate took place. The villagers asked to make the meeting an annual event so that everything was transparent and in the open.




The meeting concluded with a lunch provided by NTF which was FREE!



Our sponsors were again very generous by providing their sponsored children

IMG_0054and families with sacks of rice. Andy delivered 63 sacks of rice personally to the families and their were scenes of great joy. Every family welcomed him into their compounds. It was impossible to stay with them for long – just a quick ‘Hello’ and photograph. Even so the whole process took 7 hours! 

The village ambulance had at last had a replacement engine fitted. This seemed to be working OK but there will be an ever increasing maintenance IMG_0004programme needed to keep the vehicle on the road. This is a significant financial drain on NTF. The ambulance had a new respray and new signage – courtesy of Brunel Signs of Corby.


The sponsorship programme for 2018-2019 in now complete. We are delighted to say that we only lost the support of 3 sponsors from our list and we were able to substitute these sponsors with new supporters. The list for thIMG_0054e next year is not closed and we welcome sponsorship applications up until December 2018. We particularly are seeking sponsors for older children and sponsors for our Bursary fund that supports students wishing to follow further education courses. Please see our sponsorship page for further details.


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A few words from Kingswood Students.

Morgan Berry and Ben Porter are two of the students who visited Penyem with Kingswood Secondary Academy in February 2018. Here are their thoughts.

MB4 Spending this week in Penyem and Gambia has opened my eyes to how little   it takes to help and better peoples lives. The experiences I’ve been given in such a short space of time and the people I’ve met that have made me so welcome have made me so feel so lucky to be here and privileged to have the opportunity. MB2I can’t wait to continue fundraising to improve the community of Penyem and continue supporting Ebrima and Abou to see them through school and watch them grow. Thank you especially to Andrew and Pa who have been our guides through the whole trip and everyone’s donations who made it possible, planning for next year has already started!

Morgan Berry.


Travelling to The Gambia truly has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, having the opportunity to experience how people less fortunate than yourself live their lives on a daily basis really is eye opening. It was a very emotional trip, but I’ve made some great friends and itBP1’s definitely changed the way I look at and think about the world around us. I never quite realised how lucky I was until now.

If you have the financial capability to, I would strongly urge you to sponsor a child through the Northampton Trustee Fund. The boy in the first photo is called Sam. He’s my sponsored child, and he was so grateful for everything, because it meant that he had the opportunity to go to school, and to get a proper education. The point is that a relatively small donation on your part can make such a huge impact on a child’s life out there. They really do need it more than us. 


I’d like to say thank you to Faye Commons  for the amazing opportunity, and to Dave Robertson and Justyna Skorwider for their wonderBP2ful support in making the trip happen. Finally a huge thank you to Andrew Rapaciada Gomez and Pa Sainey Nyassi for supporting us while we were out there. Until next time Gambia, thanks for having us. Ben PorterBP3

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Gambia Video February 2018

Posted in 2018

December 2017 Visit.

‘We are proud of you all for your tiring efforts you all demonstrated here in Penyem on the 9th 10th and on the 14th December 2017th.We will ever remember you all. Cheers’. Abdou (aka Ten) Camara, General Administrator NTF. The Gambia.

‘I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to visit such a wonderful place, the welcome I received from everyone at the village was overwhelming. I have seen for myself the amazing impact NTF has made in the village and look forward to supporting you further’. Becky Maddison, Group member.

Below is an full account of the trip written by NTF Sponsor Julie Steventon……………

‘A small group of 9 travelled out to the Gambia. 6 of us had been before but for the other 3 it was their first time. In the absence of Boss man and Lady boss (And and Anne Butler) I was made group leader as i had been the most, a role I felt privileged to do. Group

After an early morning flight to Banjul we were met at the airport by Andrew Gomez who saw us safely onto the transfer coaches and were met at the hotel by Pa Sainey Nyassi and Ten Camara. Once settled into our rooms we did the water and money exchange, once again accompanied by Pa and Andrew.

Pa had booked us a table at the African Queen on the Senegambia strip so we all piled into a taxi for our first meal together, a great session with much laughter, followed by a good night’s sleep ready for our exciting 1st day.

9am saw us loading onto 2 jeeps for the 1st of our trips to Penyem village. Usual stop at Brikama for water then to the Upper basic school where we were greeted by a group of students with a welcome song. Some of us joined in and returned the compliment by a rendition of ” We wish you a merry Christmas”.  UpperAfter our tour, Bryan Allbut did a very short but impressive Geography lesson for some of the students in their    ” temporary” classroom, a lean to affair with straw roof which they had built themselves.

Onward to the village and a wonderful welcome by the children and villagers brandishing leaves from the Mango trees. Most sponsored children found their sponsors and we sat down to enjoy the welcome singing, dancing meeting and speeches after which the gifts were unpacked onto tables and then a wander around the compound, hand in hand with many children all with happy smiling faces as usual.

lessonSunday saw a return to the village for ”family” day, always a wonderful treat to spend time with the family of your sponsored child. This year I had the pleasure of 2 visits as I went with John to his sponsored child’s family before returning to my 2nd home , the Camara/Kunda compound.  We were gifted outfits by the family and Mariama had a matching dress which was very special. Lots of fun, singing and dancing,cuddling of babies and John went for a wander with Musa,being introduced to many more villagers whilst i went shopping for green tea,asked for in Mandinka !!!!!

Monday was a rest day spent around the pool or beach before being picked up by Andrew to be escorted along the beach to Pa’s juice bar at Poco Loco beach where the group enjoyed a freshly squeezed juice of their choice before a taxi back to the hotel. We enjoyed a meal together on the terrace before witnessing some spectacular African tribal dancing and drumming .

Tuesday saw an 8am start for our safari trip over the border into Senegal into Fathala park. This entailed a taxi,jeeps and a mad ferry crossing but we all had a fantastic day where we were lucky enough to see a white rhino, monkeys, zebra,warthogs,crocodile,antelope and best of all GIRAFFES, Thanks to Pa tours.com !!!!

Wednesday was chill out day. Becky and I did aquarobics in the pool, the only 2 mad enough to get in at that time of the morning, giving it large to Swedish house mafia,the session taken by an ex professional footballer !!! Others spent time on the beach, played table football and volleyball and John was bodyguard for Debbie and Denise as escorted by Pa they went to Serrekunda market and the Batik place to haggle for carvings.

CookThursday saw our return to the village where escorted by Ten Camara we were shown around other areas we had not previously visited, churches, Mosque, Banana plantation Arabic and Islamic schools and other  compounds. Also intoduced to the grandmother of Fatou Jallow, a bursary student with NTF as thanks to NTF the grandmother was pleased to have been provided with a wheelchair, making a huge difference. The doctor made a special visit on his day off to show us around and answer questions too, very much appreciated. After another lovely meal of Benechin, ably supplied by the ladies of the village with the addition of a wonderful Palm oil curry by John’s family Jarju we made our tearful goodbyes to return back to the hotel just in time for Caitlin and Leisha to join in thier last volley ball match whilst Becky and I hit the pool and the rest enjoyed a Julbrew or 2 around the Christmas tree !!!

Friday morning saw us packed and ready to depart. Sad goodbyes from the boys to the airport where Ten met us to add his goodbye and give us letters from Chief Kolley.

LRSpeaking for myself and John we had yet another wonderful week, enjoyed spending time with our fellow travellers and bonded together as a small unit, getting to know one another and making many happy memories, ably looked after by Dam , Ten, Andrew and Pa. NTF should be proud of the lads ,they stepped up and did a grand job. I feel Penyem is like my second home and always sad to leave. It is such a very special place with  very spacial people. I am proud to be associated with NTF, the best thing I have ever done by far.

Look forward to our next visit and love keeping in touch with everyone by the virtue of social media’.


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Welcome to Amadou Jallow!

Amadou Jallow Northampton Trustee Fund would like to welcome Amadou Jallow to our team of voluntary workers in Penyem.

We have known Amadou for many years – almost from his school days. He works tirelessly for a number of organisations in The Gambia. We have featured him previously in an page entitled ‘Focus on Amadou Jallow’.

As NTF has grown it has been increasingly important to be aware of the social needs of the children and families we support. Furthermore, there are many other families who can benefit from the support of NTF, who are not necessarily part of our sponsorship programme.

NTF supports, by sponsorship, around 100 children. However, there are numerous other children and families in Penyem which receive assistance in many ways from other charitable organisations. For example, Amadou has previously worked with CCF – now Child Fund.

By asking Amadou to join the NTF team, we hope he can help co-ordinate the work of all the charitable organisations to ensure a fair spread of assistance to the villagers. One role he will take on for NTF is to be the person who makes sure donated goods such as clothing, laptops, mobile phones etc go to the most needy people.

Amadou’s official title is Voluntary Social Worker.

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New fundraising project for 2017-2018.

In 2014, NTF launched a Health development Programme. This absolutely flew away! Within 4 months of the launch every family in Penyem had been given a mosquito net and the village ambulance had been replaced. Unfortunately, due to the (now) well documented financial difficulties at the school the Health Initiative was suspended.

Wristband1From 1 May 2017 the Health Programme is being relaunched. To treat a case of Malaria in Penyem is ‘very expensive’ – so says the villagers. It costs about 300-500 Delasis for the medication £6-9! This is less than a UK NHS prescription – and more to the point the medication can save a life!

NTF will be fundraising to buy this medication. We are aware that no matter how much we can buy, it will not last forever. However, we hope to be buy enough doses to last 3-5 years. By then there may be some cheaper or more longer lasting treatments available. At the moment Malaria sufferers have to pay for their medication. This will continue to be the case but we will develop a form of ‘means testing’ to decide on how much they should pay.

Can you help with a donation? Can you help by selling some of our wristbands? Please get in touch. Please visit our donate page and give generously! Thank you! 

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April 2017 Visit and Photo Gallery.

April 2017 took us on our group trip to Penyem. Thirteen NTF sponsors left from Manchester Airport on 5 April. 

18073548_10154323176052455_888792524_nMost of the sponsors came from the brilliant town of Corby! Our mission this time was to visit sponsored families and to support the village projects. There were two major developments that took place during our week in Penyem. The first was the completion of the new NTF Office. This was opened by one of our group, Sarah. She had fundraised from her day job at Spencer Court News in Corby! This fantastic contribution allowed the office to be fully completed including the installation of internet facilities. A further contribution from Beth Harrison (who did not travel on this trip) helped in the purchase of furniture for the room. The internet will allow for improved communication with Penyem. Furthermore, extra tables were purchased with a donation from Sally and Geoff Hallett. These are positioned in the room to allow older students to use laptops (Provided by Spring Lane, Primary School, Northampton) to participate in online study work. A fully refurbished main laptop was donated by Trish Creighton and Sarah Darlow Stearn. It is hoped all these things will allow NTF to moved even further froward.

unnamed (7)unnamed (8)New to NTF is Aaron Keogh. He was keen to make a significant impact in the village. For a number of years the school play equipment has been in desperate need of repair or renovation. After some research we were able to have made two slides and two double swing sets for 20000 Delasis – just over £300. Aaron donated the funds and even got to dig the foundation holes for the swings. This is just perfect – Thanks Aaron.

Whilst all the above was very important we should not forget the support and work done by all of our supporters – both those who were on this trip and those who continue to support us all year. With that in mind we are please to announce that NTF has taken on a further 10 sponsored children for the next year and foreseeable future. We also have 5 students benefitting from our Further Education Bursary Fund.

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