'Education is greatest gift'

A GAMBIAN student made a flying visit from London to a Woodbury Salterton gathering at the weekend and thanked the community for the educational support they give to his village of Dumbutu.

A GAMBIAN student made a flying visit from London to a Woodbury Salterton gathering at the weekend and thanked the community for the educational support they give to his village of Dumbutu.Kabiro Daboe, who is studying for a career in banking, told 40 members and guests at an African Evening in the village hall: "Education is the greatest gift you can give to the children."The Woodbury Salterton-Dumbutu link has been in existence since the early 90s - formed after a visit to the isolated community by the late John Pickering and his wife Margaret, who is still a member of the committee, and who was present at Saturday's highly successful event where a traditional African meal had been enjoyed against a decorative background. The link's annual meeting was also held during the evening when it was hoped that, following an initiative from Dumbutu's Lower Basic School's new headmaster, Masaneh Darbo, the nursery school there, which currently has a roll of 97 children, could also be supported. Because of this, more sponsors are now actively being sought. As the chairman of the link, Leonora Wilson, of Exmouth, is keen to point out, a single sponsorship can be met by giving up the equivalent of the price of a bar of chocolate a week. "And that can mean so much to the youngsters of Dumbutu." she says.Saturday's special guest, Kabiro Daboe, who is studying in England for three years, remembers as a schoolchild the visit to the Lower Basic School in Dumbutu by Mrs Wilson in 1993, when one of the first link groups from Woodbury Salterton visited The Gambia.Before choosing a career in banking, Kabiro Daboe taught for three years at a school near the capital, Banjul.He and Mrs Wilson, with three other members of the committee made a last-minute visit to Woodbury Salterton Primary School before he returned to London in the afternoon. She had been the head of the school for 13 years. They were welcomed by the present head, Sally McCloskey. The committee members toured classrooms and Kabiro Daboe, in talking to one class, particularly thanked the children for books they had collected and sent out to the Dumbutu school a couple of years ago.He said such assistance helped to give the children of Dumbutu, who had to pay to be educated, a wonderful chance to "change their condition of life". Prospective sponsors should contact Mrs Wilson on (01395) 268820.


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