Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

It is no small thing to say to a child, “We’ll help you stay in school.”

Because you know that statement will completely change their life. 

And under no circumstances, can you let them down.

But what if you say it to more than 600? 

Then you’d better have plenty of people standing with you.  And not just for that year alone, because it would almost be worse to let them down after two years, four years, six years, or even ten years of school.

That is why we decided from the beginning that GambiaRising should aim to build a movement of donors who had a relationship to The Gambia and its people - either personally, or through friends and family. and who would therefore hopefully stay with us year after year, supporting students, and which would allow us in turn to tell those students that we'd help them stay in school at least through 12th grade.

We’ve been at it long enough that some of those commitments are coming to fruition.  Such as:

Mariama, from a poor family in Fula Bantang, who dropped out of school after 4th grade. When someone from the school visited the family and asked if she could return to school if she got a scholarship, she returned, and now is part of the 11th grade class at the new St. Therese’s Senior Secondary School being built in Fula Bantang.

After Marie Sophie’s father left his family to pursue a better future overseas, they never heard from him again.  So after struggling just to get her through 6th grade, her mother appealed for support so that Marie could continue on to upper basic cycle school. With support from GambiaRising, Marie Sophie is now in 11th grade at St. Joseph’s Senior Secondary School in Banjul.

Kaditjatou’s mother is epileptic, and she moved to Fula Bantang to live with another family and go to school. But when the head of that family was forced to leave his government job due to poor health, her future was at risk. She received a scholarship to start upper basic cycle school (7th grade), and in June, Kadijatou graduated from Brikamaba Senior Secondary School.

We are thrilled that so many new donors joined us this year.  Now, all we need is for those who have not yet donated, to do so by year's end. Honestly, every September, we err on the side of saying "Yes" to students who had already dropped out, or who we knew could not continue without support, so now we need to close the funding gap by year's end, when more bills are due. For those of you who already renewed your support, that is precisely what gave us the confidence to say "yes" when we didn't have all the funds just yet - THANKS.

For everyone else, as always, we have no desire to compete with other wonderful non-profits in a world so much in need. But we do hope those who have not already done so, can allocate a portion of your year's-end giving to young people in The Gambia who, without us, have no chance for an education, and a better life. We'll be so careful to make those funds go as far as possible - and 100% will go directly to supporting students.

Mike McConnell
Managing Trustee

1500 Park Ave Apt PH503
Emeryville, CA  94608-3578