On 9 December 2014 a group of NTF supporters set off for a week in The Gambia. The ages ranged from 18 to 80 years old! The group were to visit Penyem on two occasions, but as it worked out most visited 3 or more times as they were so taken by the village.
The first day trip involved the now traditional welcome and tour of the various NTF village projects. During the welcome speeches, Andy Butler was able to formally confirm that NTF would be taking over full funding of the village Nursery School. This was received by the villagers with genuine delight.
Some of the visitors were returning to Penyem after visiting there previously. It was great to see them meet up again with their sponsored children. However, some were visiting their sponsored children for the first time. It was great to see them all together on the second day visit in the families primitive house. Despite having very little, the villagers made everyone so welcome. All the families were bought a sack of rice, and two lucky children were given bicycles by their sponsors.
It was interesting to see the new uniforms of the new Primary School children who are now sharing the buildings with the Nursery School. We were told that there were plans for the Gambian Government to build a Primary School in Penyem. Until that is completed, the two schools would share the building having a split morning and afternoon school. Here we could see and understand the value of the NTF building projects.
NTF is aware that as the organisation grows we will need a trustworthy administrator in the village to handle our affairs on a full time basis. Therefore, it has been agreed to create a paid position from April 2014. Interviews will take place in April.
The short film on this page really sums up the trip. NTF wishes to than everyone who made the trip such a success, both the group of visitor and our volunteers in The Gambia.