A brief history of our School.

Take Care Nursery School is located in a village called Farato-Sotokoi-Daru, in west Gambia. It was founded in 2004 by School headmaster, Bakary Kujabi.

Prior to the establishment of Take Care Nursery School, there was only one School in the Village which was owned by a Christian denomination called Seventh Day Adventist. As the Village grew bigger, the SDA school could not accomodate all the children in the community. As a result, many children were left without access to education. I became deeply worried about this and felt the need to establish another School to enable these needy children to have access to education. I met with the head of the Village and informed him about my desire. He welcomed the idea and thanked me for such a good initiative.

About 300 metres away from my home, is a an incomplete house owned by one of my friends. Upon my request he permitted me to use it temporarily as a School. This was ten days before the beginning of the new academic year, so I had to speed up to make my dreams a reality. Next I approached a Carpenter who lived just behind my home, to make seven benches for me on loan.

Three days before Schools opened, I went round the Village to inform parents about the proposed new School. I made a list of all the children, aged 3 to 7, who were unable to attend the SDA School. On that first day I registered fourteen children and on the next day six more.

At this time, I was still teaching in a government School. There was a young man who was teaching as an untrained Teacher, I appointed him to teach the children at Take Care Nursery School.

On the first day we had 20 pupils. Day by day, more new students were enrolled as news about the new School spread. Before the end of that first accademic year the school had 80 pupils. There was a pressing need for an additional teacher, more furniture and a piece of land to build a permanent School.

At that point, my friend, Momodou Lamin Cham, who is now my deputy head, appreciated my effort and decided to join me in the struggle. A piece of land measuring 70m by 40m was allocated for the new School, and we appointed a second teacher. Then, upon my request, we received a donation of furniture from a British Charity called Friends Of Gambian Schools (FROGS).

With the help of some of the people in the Village, I started the construction of a two classroom mud block with an office. This was a big challenge for me. When the construction was half way, the number of helpers began to decline and eventually I was abandoned. The only person who remained with me was my friend, Momodou. This was in May. In the following month the rain season would commence, so we had to do the rest of the construction work by ourselves.

Upon my request, the Department of Forestry donated some sticks for roofing and a Child Fund Affiliated project, Saamang, donated some corrugated steel. There was only enough to allow us to cover half of the building, so the other half was covered with palm leaves.

In July the rains were heavy. As a result the part covered by palm leaves began to collapse and I became worried and anxious. Luckily, the British charity, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), came to our aid. They gave us funds to buy more corrugated roofing to make safe the mud building. The next year, 2005, a British man called David Boyd assisted us to build a third classroom.

In 2006 I was lucky to meet an English couple called Ant & Karen Davis of Mountsorrel, Leicestershire. They played a remarkable role in the improvement of the School. They gave us funds to construct a two classroom cement block in replacement of the original mud block which was destroyed by a heavy wind. They also sent us a 40 foot container with furniture, cement, second hand clothes, books and so on. Later they provided a School feeding program.

They invited me twice to the UK, which gave me the opportunity to visit many Schools like Longslade College (now Cedas Academy) and Roundhill College who both contributed immensely in the improvement of Take Care Nursery School. I was privilleged to attended a civic reception held in my honour by the then Worshipful Lord Mayor of Charnwood. Due Ant`s poor health however, Ant & Karen were unable to continue the work.

Shortly after, I met Trix & Anita from Holland, who helped us greatly. With their aid we were able to build toilets, more furniture and a perimetre wall. Trix and Anita also provided sponsorship of some children.

Then I met Geoff & Jacqui of the Langham Hotel in Weymouth in the UK. They have also played a great role in the progress of the School, allowing us to build a new classroom block and a new well, which is now used by the whole village. Please read their story on the Langham page.

Since we began in 2004, 230 pupils have completed their career in the School. The present role of the School is 248 Pupils. Some of our pupils walk more the than 2km to come to School because they live in other communities.

I wish to thank all those who have helped me to help my community, and I hope and pray that other people who appreciate my effort will join us in providing education to the children as a means to fight their way out of poverty.

Thank you, Bakary Kujabi.

Helping Our School.

If you would like to help Take Care Nursery School please head to the Help Our School page. Alternatively you can contact the School directly with offers of help or supplies/equipment at the address below.