Children who are disabled, either mentally or physical, have the right to special care and education so they can lead full and independent lives.
Great Binfields Primary School is linked with a school for visually impaired pupils in the Gambia, West Africa. The Government Organisation for Visually Impaired (GOVI) Resource Centre is the only school for the blind in the Gambia where visually impaired children have access to attend a special needs education from pre-school up to age of 12, when they are later integrated into mainstream school to complete their education.
In 2019, one of our previous LSAs, Mrs Wilson took another trip to the Gambia and wrote up about her experiences when visiting our link school:
"I went to The Gambia during the February half term to visit The Blind School (GOVI), catch up with friends and have a relaxing week in the sun! Here is a little information about their daily routine. At break time, the children have a baguette filled with vegetables, chillies and either a little meat or fish; this is provided by the school from donations. For some children this is their only meal of the day. As you will see, several of the photos show the children in their classrooms with their teachers and their list of class rules!
During the Spring term 2019, the children from Great Binfields (Years 4, 5 and 6) kindly donated second hand clothes, toys and toiletries in shoe boxes which we have been sending to The GOVI School. Each box was labelled for either boy or girl and the appropriate age of the child so we ensured they ended up in the right hands. We received great feedback from the Head Teacher when they arrived. We were incredibly grateful for all the kind donations and said a big thank you to all of our families who took the time to prepare these gifts."
In 2017, the incredible sum of £2400 was raised from the ‘Grow a Pound Project.’ The money was used to buy new uniforms and shoes for each of the 42 children at the school, tape recorders, batteries and computers. The GOVI also bought tinned meat and fish, rice, salt and oil so they could provide breakfast and lunch for the children due to shortages in food donations from the United Nations.
Back in 2014, the children from Great Binfields raised £400 which was used to create a vegetable garden to help provide food for the school children.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year but due to the conflict in South Sudan, Syria and the Central African Republic the help provided to the GOVI has reduced drastically. They receive only 3 bags of rice, salt and oil every three months but this is not enough to feed the children.