Following award of the school building project in September to a local builder and following commencement of works in October, senior members of the BASIG team travelled to The Gambia in November so they could check on progress. Great excitement was gradually overtaken by frustration when the team learned that builders were facing problems not unusual to the locale, these involved certain land ownership and planning issues. Undeterred these matters were eventually resolved by the team and building work continues at an impressive speed the project now being fully underway.

The main boundary wall is now almost complete and will enable adequate security for the site when construction starts proper on the main school building, toilet block and cesspit. The only slight hindrance to progress will be the installation of an independent water supply, although the application for this has been delayed the team were assured water would be on site in the next four weeks or so.

Despite the hurdles faced energy at Sukuta is unmistakable, excitement grows on a daily basis as the charity and families in the village watch the building progress that will make such a big difference in local children’s lives.

All in all the BASIG team were impressed with how the project was running, co-trustee Martin Englefield said “we are extremely pleased at how quickly the project has moved in a seamless manner from planning to construction, we are confident following our visit to site the project will complete on time.”

There are still a number of hurdles the team have to negotiate top of the list being how the new schools curriculum and teacher training will integrate with current local education policies.

Visits to progress BASIG’s education policies will be announced in due course which will involve discussions at local level between the charities co trustee and education specialist Roz Walker, she will be working closely with local representatives of the SOS schools project to progress and finalise the charities education objectives.

For now though it is fair to say the team are very positive about progress, a further visit to check on construction is planned for early January.

100% of all BASIG donations go to the building cause with none of that money going to administration or travel costs, we thank all of our sponsors who have helped the project to evolve this far.