Volunteer Diary


Exciting, nervous, expensive, language, culture shock . . . are just some of my thoughts when I first thought of going to Gambia with Fresh Start Foundation. When deciding to volunteer with a charity you usually have to pay a substantial amount up front for the privilege but Fresh Start is different. All that was required was to cover the costs of our stay and expenses whilst there. This isn’t the only reason why FSF are unique. FSF is just a small charity but want to give so much- that personal touch and passion is always apparent with Lamin and Rebecca. This is inclusive of the Daffeh family!

On my return from Tendaba – this is where the school was that we were working at, I felt overwhelmed with emotion. The 10 days we spent there were inspiring- surrounded by such a friendly community where nothing was too much trouble. I met people who were so enthusiastic, willing to learn, helpful, happy and thankful of us giving up our time and spending it at Tendaba lower basic school. The school was headed by a truly hardworking headmaster who did his best for the students with minimal resources. The students. where to start! I have spent many a moment since my return thinking of all the young personalities I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with! I hope we inspired them as much as they inspired us!

Tendaba Camp where we stayed set in the most beautiful surroundings with regular visit from tourists in hope of seeing some of the beautiful wildlife. and definite must of your planning a trip to The Gambia. The staff were so friendly and good company throughout our stay- the pumpkin pie is a true delight, nice one chef!

We were lucky enough to visit Kwinella Lower Basic School in the neighbouring village. Kwinella Lower Basic School has received support from Fresh Start Foundation and it was a great pleasure to see lots of furniture being used that had been shipped over from England. The Kwinella Headmaster was very vocal about how grateful he was for the support!

It is so apparent that a little bit of support from a charity such as Fresh Start can have a massive impact on whole communities in the Gambia. seeing this first hand has inspired me to continue to support Fresh Start with fundraising and collection of things to send over in the next container (Please note I’m sure we have enough to fill another container so fundraising is a must so we can send it over!) Thanks to all those who supported my trip and I hope your support will also continue with Fresh Start.

Already looking into next trip, Oct 2010 and Dec 2010, hoping to take young people from Shropshire. I hope the experience will be as magical as mine!

Lots of warmth,

Sammy Powell, FSF Volunteer.