The head teacher, Ali Sallah, is very grateful for all the donations which have been made to the Govi Resource Centre by the Friends of Visually Impaired Children in the Gambia and others this year. In November he pointed out that the Centre was the only special school in the Gambia for blind and visually impaired children and so needed more specialist equipment including tactile toys. He especially thanked the Friends and other groups and individuals who have donated items, including the staff and students from Stoke-on-Trent Youth, Play and Outdoor Education Services and Glynis and John Howard who visited the school at the end of November. Above: Momodou Lamin Njie and Binta Drammeh in the Nursery Class playing with a musical toy.The Stoke-on-Trent Youth, Play and Outdoor Education Services has sent two groups to visit the school this year. The second, consisting of nine young people aged 15-19, two volunteers (19- and 22-years-old) and two staff members, were in the Gambia in early November. These groups have delivered recorders, sensory balls and small toys. Louise Cooke explained "I came into contact with Phil Feller last year vis the website as we wanted to take resources to a group specifically for young people with disabilities." Below: The group which visited in November.
Glynis and John Howard from Stockport, who are connected with Henshaws Society for the Blind, also heard about the school t hrough this website. They visited the school in late November and delivered a suitcase of equipment. The children enjoyed the lollies they brought, while Ali Sallah was delighted with the Perkins Braille machine and paper. There were also tape cassettes, white fold-up canes, a goal ball and skipping ropes. Left The Howards with some of the staff and pupils beside the suitcase of items they delivered.
When he thanked the Howards Ali Sallah explained that there are five classes at the school: nursery, and grades 1-4. After Grade 4 the children are integrated into the mainstream schools. There they are assisted by specialist itinerant teachers employed by the government's Integrated Education Programme (IEP). At the Govi Resource Centre the children are prepared for admission into mainstream schools by not only following the normal curriculum but also by learning Braille and taking part in orientation, daily life skills and mobility exercises. They are also taught basket work and rag rug making.
Above: Pa Gaira Lamin teaching the basics of Braille
Below: The basket work teacher, Alpha Secker. Both he and Pa Gaira are blind.
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