We are in an exciting stage in the life of the Kambeng Trust. If you've read our recent updates on the project, you will have noticed more references to sustainability and self - sufficiency.
We have always made it clear to the management committees in Bakary Sambouya that our support would not continue for ever, and that they would need to consider how to generate income for the school and clinic.
Last November, when Sue and Jude were in the Gambia, they continued to discuss the concept of self sufficiency and put forward some suggestions for a gradual, planned hand-over of the nursery school and health clinic. We decided that a deadline in about two years time would encourage the villagers to think about how they can take steps towards running the school and health clinic themselves.
Over the last year or two there's already been considerable progress in increasing the local income. The school undertakes fundraising activities, runs a chair hire scheme for village events and charges the families a small termly fee. The clinic is continuing to charge a low fee for each consultation, for the cost of the drugs and for laboratory work, which is in line with Government clinics. Over time the responsibility for the running costs is being handed over but we are continuing to fund salaries, school meals and some larger expenses.
We are visiting more frequently to help with the logistics of this transition, and also to work with the relevant government departments. Sue and Jude will be returning for a week in March.
Change can often be challenging, however we are optimistic that we can all work together through this period to achieve a good outcome. We have put the wheels in motion now, and much time will need to be spent working on the details.
We will of course keep you updated on this process. For the time being there will be little change in how the charity operates and for this reason we greatly value your continuing support.
What we have established is sound and runs well. We see this next stage as an exciting and positive move towards the village taking ownership of their much-valued school and clinic.
Our thanks to you for your help in making this happen.