St Andrew’s supported Jamie and Debbie Erskine when they moved from High Wycombe to The Gambia where they lived and worked for many years, raising their girls there. In 2004 the church in their village encouraged Debbie to start a pre-school; from 8 children on their back veranda, it became 51 children attending pre-school in a purpose built school, now owned and run by the church. It has proved very popular with both Christian and Muslim families and has helped break down barriers and build trust between the two main faith groups in the village.
Sponsorship of each child is what funds the school and pays the staff wages. Seventeen new sponsors are still needed for this year. The school provides training and employment for local people. The Erskines are now back in the UK and Debbie set up the Mangotrees Trust, of which she is a trustee, and now a registered charity to continue and broaden the work of supporting education in The Gambia, through the Evangelical Church of The Gambia, who now run three schools in total.
Debbie has asked St Andrews if they are willing to contribute towards the cost of building of an additional, third classroom, at the Sibanor Pre-school, as this has become a legal requirement now of the Gambian government.
Gift Day Target: £3,000