Under the leadership of Andy and Anne Butler – founders of the Northampton Trustee Fund – a group of twelve Sixth Form students and headteacher, David Tristram, visited the Gambia last week.
The main purpose of the visit was to provide facilities and support for the village of Penyem which is sponsored by the Northampton Trustee Fund and by the school. Andy and Anne have been raising money for the villagers and providing support in the areas of health, education, agriculture, and sport since their first visit in 2004.
The trust arranges the sponsorship of children in the village to enable them to go to school and the students from Kingswood each sponsor a child whom they got to meet during their visit. This visit saw the group set up the ‘Penyem Football Academy’ which will provide a social centre for the villagers to watch football, as well as providing a small source of income. We also took lots of sports kit, coaching manuals and equipment. The villagers love their football and played an energetic match in 35° heat against the Kingswood team which ended in a diplomatic 2-2 draw. They also entertained the party with singing, drumming and dancing – as well as providing local food for the students to try.
None of the students had been to the Gambia before and were overwhelmed by the welcome they received from the villagers. Andy Butler said, ‘Although Anne and I have been to the village many times, this was the first trip we have taken involving students. It was a great success and we now hope to make this a regular visit to establish permanent links between The Kingswood School and the village.’
The school is embarking on an ambitious project to send the surplus furniture generated by our move to the new school. David Tristram and the students saw at first hand just how pressing the need for furniture and all sorts of equipment is. You will hear more about the project – and our fund-raising ideas! – as we get nearer to the move. If you are interested in finding out about the project you can visit www.educationforall.com and watch the ‘Red Chair’ presentation. Likewise, anyone wishing to find out more about the work of the Northampton Trustee Fund should look at the Trust’s website - www.northamptontf.blogspot.com
To view the photo gallery of this visit click here