About Gambia School Support

Brufut school children

Gambia School Support (GSS) funds three schools located in Brufut (pop c.40,000) in the Gambia. All are within a 10 minute walk of each other.

Why are we doing this?

Because the need is large. The Gambia is one of the world’s smallest and poorest countries.

There is no state education provision for 3-7 year olds and, in Brufut, the provision for 7-14 year olds is overwhelmed by demand and is generally of poor quality.

Providing these children with good education, flexible open minds, care, nurture, joy, fun, pride in their culture, pride in their community, enthusiasm, drive and ambition will transform their lives, their community and The Gambia for the better.

What is our approach to achieving this?

It is fundamental to this project’s sustainability that we set up good governance, good administrative and good accounting structures and find capable, right-minded and honourable Gambians to run them.

In July 2017 we set up the Gambian registered charity ‘AVI Schools Charity’ and have found good people to become its trustees. In Jan 2018 we recruited an administrator and in Dec 2018 a highly qualified Managing Director thereby professionalising the local management.

The two ‘structures’ are:

  • A Trustee Board (8 members). Operates like a UK Board of Governors, unpaid and has ultimate control of the staff and the charity.
  • An Executive Board (4 members). Managing Director, Education Director/Head teacher and the two other Head Teachers. They are paid staff and report to the trustees.

Our aim is that within 5 years the Gambians we have found to lead this project will have gained sufficient experience and reputation to operate these schools well.

Working through this team, GSS are bringing about transformational and beneficial changes to the education, teachers, teaching, premises, teaching materials and equipment, healthcare, facilities and the care and safety of the children.

Josh Dale-Harris

Chairman of Gambia School Support (Jan 2019)