A Lanarkshire aid agency has continued to support over 1000 school children in Africa, despite the global pandemic and a host of logistical issues.

Project Gambia: People Feeding People have been able to keep the school gates and canteens open for the hundreds of impoverished pupils they support and feed daily at three schools in Gambia.

They have done so by successfully delivering on their promise of sending over a large consignment of foodstuff for the youngsters and staff as part of their School Feeding Programme which ensures that every child is fed, every day throughout the year.

They also sent much-needed clothing and goods such as backpacks filled with stationary, school jotters and hygiene materials including soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste to the school pupils in the poverty-stricken region of Serekunda, West Africa.

Charity treasurer Paul Lafferty explained: “We are very fortunate indeed to be able to call on the support of trusted partners in Africa, people we have worked closely with over the past 10 years, who have ensured we have been able to keep our promise to St John’s School for the Deaf, Serekunda, St Patrick’s Lower Basic School and St Joseph’s Nursery School at Darsalami, close to the Gambia-Senegal border.

“Earlier this month we were delighted to deliver a large consignment of foodstuffs to the St John’s School for the Deaf, which is the largest school for children with additional support needs in Gambia and possibly in the whole of West Africa, as well as rice and other foodstuffs to St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s.”

In countries in West Africa and in the Gambia in particular, which is the fifth-poorest state in Africa, Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in so many areas of life, with over half of the population existing on less than one US dollar per day.

So donations like the ones from Project Gambia are vitally important to those who rely on their charity.

Project Gambia chairperson Frank Devine said: “It’s amazing to think we’ve managed to continue our work in Africa at this time, despite all the difficulties thrown up by Covid-19.

“The Gambia is in a terrible situation. There’s no aid workers getting into the country due to border restrictions, no tourists or back packers, so a country and economy which absolutely relies on visitors is really suffering.

“For us to still be able to deliver food and other goods to the children at this time is unbelievable.”

Paul added: “All we’ve achieved in Africa over the past 10 years is down to the support we receive from ordinary people in Lanarkshire.

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“If anyone wants to find out more about Project Gambia they can visit our Facebook page where you can find details of how you can support us. Some people do this by taking out a monthly direct debit, making a one off contribution or by sponsoring a classroom of children to participate in the school feeding programmes being run over three locations in one of the poorest countries in Africa.”

For more information please visit Project Gambia: People Feeding People on Facebook or visit www.project-Gambia.org