In 2002 a group of Hagley Primary School teachers visited Jan Jan Bureh Lower Basic Primary School, home to the oldest Methodist church in West Africa. The Hagley teachers, with expertise in Early Childhood Development, became well aware of the shortage of space and facilities for the younger children in the village. In collaboration with Tida Manka, headteacher of the primary school at the time, they were inspired to build a nursery for these children, aged 3-6 years.
The land for the Nursery, located on Mcarthy Island about 160 miles from the capital, Banjul, was bought in 2004, and building began in 2007. In February 2008 the official opening of Jan Jan Bureh Nursery was held. The Nursery now provides education for over 200 young children from Jan Jan Bureh, who then move to the Lower Basic Primary School after finishing at the Nursery.
A few years ago this group of Hagley Primary School teachers decided to create a charity for the purpose of raising money, and as trustees, they aim to visit The Gambia and the nursery once a year.
These trustees have now moved on from Hagley Primary school, although the school, as well as other schools in Worcestershire, continue to support and fundraise for the charity.
VISITING THE GAMBIA
Trustees of 'Friends of Jan Jan Bureh Nursery' visit the Nursery at least once a year in February. The purpose of their visits are to monitor and evaluate the progress of the nursery, and listen to the needs of the teachers and students. Each trip has a new focus, and the trustees prepare material and programmes before departing. They investigate what support is needed, and how they can work towards fundraising and sourcing resources for Jan Jan Bureh Nursery back in England.