Bright Star Nursery School
We were introduced to Bright Star Nursery in January 2013. It quickly became apparent that this was a school in need of support. Even our guides were shocked at its condition.
Bright Star School is in Old Yundum Village. It is a nursery school. It has one hundred and twenty pupils aged between three and five years old. It has two typically sized classrooms plus a very small room nearby which is also used as a classroom. In each class, there are up to sixty pupils. The children in these classrooms sit by the desks, at the desks and on the desks. There should be a third classroom but it’s only half completed.
There are stacks of breeze blocks all over the Bright Star School site: a sign that once upon a time, the intention was for the school to be a much bigger place. But then, the funding ran out.
Between the hours of eight in the morning and one in the afternoon, the one hundred and twenty nursery pupils at Bright Star School do not have a readily available supply of water. They do not have water for toilet use. They do not have water to grow fruit and vegetables in their garden and they do not have water to drink. Fortunately, there is a tap and bore hole nearby but the children have to walk some distance to use it.
“Even our guides were shocked at its condition”
The Head Teacher at Bright Star Nursery is Betty Gomez. She is young and passionate about her school and really keen to develop sustainable links. We asked her how we could help the school and its children. She asked for the third classroom to be completed.
In January 2014, following another year of fund raising involving Newman University and its students, Kitwell Primary School, St. Augustine’s Catholic School and Nonsuch Primary School, the classroom was completed.
Bright Star Nursery School children celebrated the completion of the third classroom with drama and musical performance. A member of the Gambian government, working in the Education Department, was also invited.