The Rainbow Foundation is a charitable incendive inspired by Jawla. Our aims are to raise funds and to maximise the impact they can have for the local people. Our guests and visitors to our website can help us by donating with PayPal or just by looking at the adverts placed on our website by our sponsors - every little helps! Our guests can also provide practical help with our projects during their stay.
The Rainbow Foundation will spend any funds it receives in the Sanyang district for the benefit of the local people and will maximise its impact by not spending money on anything except the projects themselves. No parties for the volunteers - no paid administrators - no waste at all.
Our first project is to create a preschool in Faala, a new settlement near Sanyang. The very young kids in Faala can't safely travel to Sanyang because of the distance and because of the dangerous main road that joins the two places.
Without a preschool, their basic education (English and Arithmetic) will be delayed and they will struggle when it is time to being Junior school.
The school is now open and giving 60 kids and 5 staff a better life. The total cost was around ?2,250 (excepting donations of land, toilets, stationary, etc). The running costs are now 20,000 Dalasi per month (about ?350) so ongoing fund-raising is essential. This covers the cost of lunch every day and salaries.
Very big thanks to Vanessa and Marc and their friends in Luxemburg for their very generous donations and for the lovely artwork on the school building.
And also to At Eye Level and their donors for commissioning and organising the work to provide a water supply for the toilets, to flatten the school yard, to build a perimeter wall and materials for the second classroom block, and for the help from Harald and Sabine helping the teachers hone their skills and knowledge.
Very big thanks to Tim, Joan, Ronnie, Maggie, Mark and Dan who between them have donated sufficient funds to cover all the main staff salaries for 6 months!
We raised funds to by a solar water pump to raise water from the well to the tank to provide water for the toilets. Many thanks to all those who donated and to Dan Flint for paying for the shipping crate. This pump and solar panels and controller and now installed and working. We have purchased two solar batteries locally to provide 24hr electricity.
With the cash donations from Dan and At Eye Level, we are now ready to return the cafeteria area to its original purpose and have started building a second classroom block. The new block will be identical to the first so when the work is finished there will be four classrooms. This will accommodate four classes of 30 kids (from 'nursery 1' to 'nursery 4'). We hope to have the new classrooms ready for the new intake in September.
Phase II has begun. We are adding a second teaching block with exactly the same plan as the first, so that's two more classrooms and 60 more kids. This will bring the school up to full capacity and will allow early educational services right through from kindergarten to year 3 - a total of 120 kids. The roof is going on now (August 2017) and we expect to be able to open with all four classrooms operational in September.
Some of our early intake are starting at the Sanyang primary school this September (2017) - we wish them good luck with the proud knowledge that we have given them the start they need to get along in mainstream school. Farewell 2017 alumni!
Here's Sainabou with the delivery of roofing timber for the new building.
Jawla is taking the role of foreman as the new roof takes shape.
The locals are having a look at the new work. The tall man is Alieu, the carpenter.
Loading up at the timber yard.
The grounds have been weeded and the new roof is on the second block. The new school year has just begun and the students will soon have four classrooms. They missed each other over summer and the reunions were excited!
The money raised was pooled and amounted to 3000 Gambian dalasi. This paid for Mario and his workers to break the first ground.
The project has started with the construction of the toilets - one for boys one for girls. The first job was to dig the soak-away. This is 4x3m across and 3.5m deep (close to 200 m3). The D3000 paid for 10 man days digging, which was enough to finished the dig.
The area chosen was in a corner of two walls. This will allow the two walls to be used as part of the toilet building. The position was chosen as it close enough to the site access for the pump-out vehicle to get close enough to feed in its hose without the vehicle or hose coming near to any of the other proposed buildings or play areas.
The cubicles will be side-by-side and will have a privacy screen in front of the two doorways.
The next stage (already started) is to obtain sand and cement to make some building blocks. These will be used to line to soak-away walls. Once this is done, a slab will be laid across the top and the walls and roof of the toilet block will be constructed on top of this.
Two toilets will be then installed. A raised tank will provide flushing water (this will be filled by pump from a bore-hole in Jawla's compound, which is on the other side of the wall).
The building blocks are moulded on site and dried in the sun.
Come back soon to see what happens next.
The soakaway chamber is now complete and ready to be covered with a concrete slab. As you can see the hole is very large. This means that the toilets will need to be emptied only very occasionally. The toilets (one for teaching staff and one each for boys and for girls) will sit on the slab, each in its own private cubicle. There will also be space for a cleaners room, with sinks.
Local VIPs visit the project and discuss progress.
The completed toilet block. There are four cubicles - two for the children, one for the teachers and a utility for cleaning equipment and materials.
Summer 2014 saw unusually stormy weather. Many local buildings were damaged - some roofs were blown right off - and the school, sadly, lost a gable end before the roof was erected.
Here's Yorro taking down the broken masonary. Gambian buildiders are inventive and adaptable. It was decided that the best thing to do would be to remove the wall between the windows and the concrete around the reinforcement rods, which would then be reused without even removing them.
Once the damaged material is removed, the team make good progress restoring the broken section of wall and casting the reinforced ring (is that a building term) on which the gable will be built.
In only two weeks from starting to remove the damaged section, the wall and gable are repaired and the roof is on.
Great work team!
2015 - School is now Open
Thanks to all our donors for money, support and hard work the school opened this September. These are the lucky 60 students that made up our first ever intake.
The two classrooms are light and the air is fresh and cool. The furniture is basic but adequate. The kids sit around tables rather front-facing than in rows.
Twyfords Bathrooms have donated two child-sized toilets, two grown-up toilets and four sinks with all the taps and fittings we need. Here they are being unpacked in the school office (the little chap at the back is getting a drink of water from the bucket).
Fitting the toilets
Our plumber said that the toilets are the best quality - and he's right, Twyfords has a long and proud tradition of quality. They can't get small toilets in The Gambia so the kids will love them too.
With beautiful artwork by Marc, the school now has an inspiring character, even before you go inside. Let us roar!