The International School Award helps schools benefit from all the opportunities that international education can offer by providing a framework to plan, evaluate and celebrate your international learning activities.The International School Award helps our school benefit from all the opportunities that international education can offer by providing a framework to plan, evaluate and celebrate our international learning activities.
The International School Award helps our school to:
- enrich the curriculum and improve teaching by introducing and embedding international activities across the whole school
- become part of a global network of international educators open to collaboration and shared learning opportunities
- gain recognition for and promote our international work, making it more attractive to pupils, parents and teachers.
The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa and lies on the west coast, completely surrounded by Senegal. It is 500km long and no more than 30km wide, its long narrow shape mirroring the course of the River Gambia which runs through the entire length of the country.
Britain's links with The Gambia date back to Elizabethan times with documented trade links since 1588. Gambia was a British colony and its troops fought alongside the Allies in World War II. Independence was granted in 1965 and The Gambia remains a member of The Commonwealth with English as its official language, spoken alongside Mandinka, Wolof, Fula and other dialects.
Tourists attracted to its Atlantic coast beaches and vast variety of birdlife provide a valuable source of income and employment but the country remains very poor with one third of the 1.8m population surviving below the international poverty line of 1.25 US dollars a day. Average life expectancy is 63 years.
Just one sixth of the land is arable and poor soil quality means the only crop which can be widely grown is the peanut, making The Gambia very vulnerable to changes in world peanut prices. The country is also burdened with high levels of debt, forcing it to rely on foreign aid and charity.
SUNSHINE SCHOOLS was formed by Annette and Chris Warren after they visited The Gambia on holiday. During their trip, they visited local schools and saw children packed into overcrowded classrooms, sharing the odd pencil and sheet of paper, learning to write by copying out words, erasing them, then passing the paper to the next child. They promised to try and help and immediately began raising money and donating their own, collecting and receiving educational equipment and supplies, on their return to England. They also directly sponsor, by paying school fees and providing school uniform, individual children. Their new fundraising effort is the sale of Gambian produced items, purchased locally in The Gambia. This benefits the community directly and ultimately the profit from selling in the UK returned for the benefit of education in The Gambia.
To unlock the potential of highly disadvantaged children in The Gambia through sharing resources, knowledge and respect. To work in partnership with the local communities to provide children with access to education, health care, clean water and nutrition. To provide teachers and schools with resources and support to improve literacy, numeracy, life-skills and self-esteem. To provide local projects to improve self-sufficiency. We are in daily contact with trusted Gambian staff who manage projects locally. Annette and Chris travel to The Gambia every year and spend their time visiting the projects to ensure funds are used appropriately. They also visit all the sponsored children and meet with village elders to compile a waiting list of the neediest children.