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What times we are living in.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, political turmoil.  What are the chances that Gambian kids who are not in school will find someone to give them a chance this year?

And yet, what a tragedy if they do not get that chance. For boys, they will have no earning prospects. For girls, the same, except also that every study shows that educated girls are one of the best possible investments for development. They have fewer babies, earn more income, use it on their families, have healthier families, and contribute to community strength.

But unless they are drowning in the Mediterranean, Gambians are not on the world's radar these days.

I will not argue that their needs are greater than those of a Haitian family whose house just blew away. 

But surely we can help both.  Indeed, we must.

And the good news is that we have built an incredibly effective delivery system so that donations are used to give the most support to the most young Gambians. We have a team of Gambians who volunteer their time to manage our program in their communities. Peace Corps volunteers give us additional insight into local needs. One of our Board members pays all our overhead and administrative costs. 1/3 of our students' school uniforms are even sewn by a volunteer tailor.

We can provide all that an elementary school student needs to go back to (or start) school for just $25. For $55 we can get them back to junior high school. High school is more costsly but even the $200 that it costs on average is only a bit more than $15 per month.  Monthly donating makes it possible to make such a big difference, because we know we can count on the income, so we can enroll kids now.

Gambian schools re-open in a few days. Please help today.

We are all pulled in so many directions these days. But if you take 45 seconds now to help one or more of the kids on our waiting list get back to school, it will change their life.  www.gambiarising.org/donate.

You can choose your own amount - any amount from $1 on up. Better yet, a small monthly donation will really add up over time.  Please help.


Mike McConnell
Managing Trustee
GambiaRising Charitable Trust

1500 Park Ave., Apt PH503
Emeryville, CA  94608-3578

P. S.  Here just 12 of the young Gambians on our waiting list.  None were in school last year because we could not fund them. Let's not leave them behind again this year.

Nene will turn 13 years old later this month; has never been to school

Esa's father died trying the Back Way to Europe. He is 8 and has never been to school.

Mariama is 15.  Her father died and  she dropped out after 6th grade but hopes to go back to school.

Aminata is 14.  Her mother is a widow and could not keep her in school past grade 6.

Mihammed's father died, and his mom remarried. When his stepfather also died, he dropped out after 10th grade.

Muhammed's sister Isatou droipped out after 9th grade. 

Mariama has never known her father. After 3rd grade, she dropped out.

Ebrrima's father tried the Back Way three years ago and has not been heard from since. Ebrima has never been to school.

Both Maimuna's parents have died and she dropped out after 11th grade. Her uncle wants her to marry, but she wants to go back to school.

Isatou's father left her mom and started another family. She stoped after 4th grade.

Fatoumata is 11 and an orphan. A guardian has taken her in but will only share the food bowl; she dropped out after 2nd grade.

Nafisatou is Fatoumata's sister. She stopped at 5th grade.