The work of The BEA
In our first year, 2008-2009, we sponsored 30 students at the senior secondary school in Bansang.
Currently we sponsor 60 students a year.Government support has changed over the years and our sponsorship has adapted to this. We initially sponsored children across upper basic and senior secondary school level. Since 2018 education at upper basic level was covered by the Gambian Government so we have focussed specific sponsorship at senior school students only. Upper basic schools are supported through provision of equipment, materials and projects as are lower basic schools.
School teachers become quickly aware of students suffering particular financial hardship and identify those showing promise in their schoolwork.
New students apply in writing to the appeal and produce evidence of their circumstances and performance in school.
Students from the previous year who have performed well in exams automatically continue with our sponsorship. However due to the great need for support, if students perform poorly, without extenuating circumstances their scholarship is given to someone else to benefit.
The students receive either a basic level of sponsorship where any fee due to the school is provided along with necessary materials, the students struggling the most financially also receive money for lunch each day during the school term.
This is decided on by staff in the schools who are aware of individual circumstances.
One of our Sponsored Students
Rohey is currently taking her grade 12 exams. She is 19 studying the arts stream. She hopes to become a journalist or a teacher.
She lives with her parents in Bansang. Her father is a farmer. She has done well throughout her schooling getting very good grade 9 results in the national exams and throughout her time in the senior school.
Where we are able to help with local projects at schools around Bansang we will. This has been supported in the past by linked schools in the UK and currently by our own fundraising efforts.
As BEA trustees are not on the ground often in Bansang and internet connections are poor, projects can take time to complete as monitoring them can be difficult.
Despite this we have funded the development of an IT block and provided computers for this at Bansang Senior Secondary School, funded staff acommodation and improved security at Mabali Kuta School, renovation of the library at Bansang Upper Basic School, renovated staff accommodation at Sololo Basic Cycle School, contributed to the building of Agape Nursery School and are supporting the completion of a kitchen at Sukuta Lower Basic School.
Agape Nursery School
This school had been using a temporary classroom and church building for 10 years but in the 2015 with support from BEA, Galleywood Infant School and Empower The Gambia a permanent nursery school building was built in the grounds of the church in Bansang.
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Bansang Educational Appeal raises money through regular giving, donations and fundraising events