Third and Final Year of Fundraising – Sanyang Family Fundraiser
It’s finally here! I am pleased to announce the beginning of fundraising for our third and final year of this project. It has been a very successful year! My sincere apologies for lack of updates throughout the year, I find it difficult these days to keep up with all the projects I’m involved in and I sincerely appreciate your understanding. But not to fear, all the updates you missed are included here!
Because of the generosity of people like you, Binta has GRADUATED from school and will now be sent to a hotel to work as an “attachment” where she will receive real-world training (unpaid) for 6 months. After that, if all goes well she may be able to secure employment. Lamin is starting his third and final year of architectural draftsmanship school. We’re almost there!
Project Summary: People around the world have graciously helped us assist a family of 7 – a mother and her 6 children. Keith (myself) provides for basic living needs, and kind-hearted people such as yourself have helped us send the 4 younger children to regular public school (basic school items -books, uniforms), and the 2 older siblings to technical (vocational) school. The goal? Enable this family to become self-sufficient with the ability to provide for themselves. That is where their best hope for their future lies.
2017-2018 School Year Chronological Update
October 3rd, 2017
Update from Lamin:
We have once again enter into another school academic school, it was indeed a great summer holiday for everyone. We had much fun with family, friends and loved ones but still that didn’t make us forget our books lol even we are on holidays we always try to look at our books Atimes…..
On behalf of me an my entire family we are sending a Thanking message with much gratitude to everyone who contributed even 1$ towards the fundraiser for our second school year. We will still be needing your kind help as only have of the second year installment was paid .. most of all we say a big thank you to Keith Clark, we loved you so much like a family and you are just like a big brother to me.
Four of the kids have started a week ago whilst Binta An I myself Lamin started this week… I look forward to do our best in this second year An perform even better than the first year…
School is not new to anyone anymore after everyone completing their first year successfully…
Much love and greetings from my entire family.
October 21, 2017
October 31, 2017
Lamin informed me that mother is feeling better after taking prescribed medication from hospital, and she has declined a stomach scan because she is feeling better. (and likely due to cost)
November 14th, 2017
I tell Lamin that my good friend and mentor Bruce Moen is about to pass away. He says he will tell the entire family to “put him in prayers.”
November 21, 2017
After a year and a half, two bicycles were finally purchased for Muhammed and Isatou. Bicycles were bought for the youngest two children the first year. Then this year the next two children were provided a bicycle and a lock.
November 24, 2017
Lamin is at doctor, has intense headache. We fear another bout of malaria like last year. He is prescribed medicine and rest. The total cost for doctor visit and medicine is 1700 Dalasi, the equivalent of $35 USD.
December 7, 2017
Lamin’s birthday is coming up. He is sent $138, but $88 of that is his family’s bi-weekly money for food. He is told that the remaining $50 is to be split up between his birthday and Christmas for the entire family (all 7 of them).
I ask Binta for an update on her school year, this is her last year and she will graduate next summer.
December 17, 2017
Lamin celebrates his birthday with what appears to be a homemade pie. Notice even the knife was given a little more “class” by shrouding it in tinfoil.
December 26, 2017
Lamin’s in trouble, he has wounded his hand chopping firewood. Chopping wood and trying to sell it was the only way the family had any money to eat when I first met him. It looks like he is out of practice. To the family, this is a big deal – to have an injury inflicted on the oldest male in the household, the one who is assumed will support the household. I am contacted by Binta, his oldest sister. He is rushed to the emergency room and it is taken care of. Total cost: approximately 4,800 Dalasi (The Equivalent of $100 USD – $25 for the doctor visit, $75 for the medication and ongoing wound treatment)
December 31, 2017
Binta send the status update that I had requested of her:
Hello brother Keith,
How are you doing with your dear wife? I hope my message will meet you in good term of health condition? How was the Christmas? Hope you guys had fun? Anyway I will say a late Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
We will now get back to business where by I will tell you about schooling and life after schooling. First of all I will tell you about my experience in school for the period of times I spent there. School was fun because I met new friends with different talents, great lecturers, the school has a great learning infrastructure, the school environment is also suitable for a better learning, the school was well equip for the students to have a better understanding in their lessons. I also got a lot of experiences because we always do have practicals which enable students to have better understanding in what they are learning. I also learnt how to manage a home, how to be a good receptionist etc. I really do enjoy my time in this school because they gave everything that a good school could give their students so I called them as the best school in The Gambia because of all the new things i learnt there. The school assured it’s students that after graduation they will send each of them to different places for a job attachment and those that impressed the people will get employed and their certificates can enable you to get a job in any part of the world because the school is well recommended. All students will be sent for an attachment and your performance will enable you to get employed.
Right now my plans are to focus on my books and school as this is my final year in school so I have to give everything in order to secure a place when I go for attachment so I can impress the bosses of the working place. Make you and my family proud of me and I made a promise to myself that I will make everyone proud of me and I will always perform well in school. My motto is to work hard and be a responsible lady. Hope my words suits your interest and Thank you for your caring and support towards us. God bless you abundantly. An most of All my thanks goes to everyone who donate towards my education.
January 8th, 2018
School resumes after the holiday break.
January 13th, 2018
There is a political strike in Gambia and students are forced to stay home for their own safety during this week. People involved in the strike were starting fires and carrying weapons on the roads.
January 17th, 2018
We received some report cards for the first term.
January 22, 2018
Muhammed and Isatou’s report cards come late due to the political upheaval.
February 7th, 2018
iDigitalMedium corporation is dissolved, and a refund is offered to fundraiser donors. One of the donors chooses to send the money to Gambia. Here it is – 2200 Dalasi, the equivalent of $45.80 – to be used for the 2018-2019 school year.
March 4th, 2018
Another Emergency! Yaya was playing football (soccer to us Americans) and stepped on a nail. They don’t wear shoes to play, shoes are reserved for walking and going to school. All children play barefoot, this is normal in their country. The medical bill is 2,375 Dalasi ($49.44 USD)
I tell Lamin that the family needs to start keeping money aside for emergencies, he agrees. However, his hands are pretty much tied. The most they may be able to save is a few dollars, and this time it wouldn’t have made a difference. We’ve had 3 or 4 medical issues so far this year, and the frequency of injuries concerns me. Not only for the financial cost, but also the potential for one of the first future “breadwinners” of the family – Lamin or Binta, to become injured and incapacitated. We agree that this is the first priority when Binta starts working, as she will be the first to graduate.
June 9th, 2018
The yearly festival is coming, this is like Christmas in Gambia. I send them a gift – 2,342 Dalasi ($48.76) which Lamin will use to buy traditional clothing as well as other needed clothing – for an entire family. The traditional clothes are made by hand. They all look very nice!
July 6, 2018
Lamin informs me that Binta’s last day of school is July 19th. She will be graduating on July 20th. They will have a graduation ceremony on July 20th that will cost them 2,500 Dalasi $52.05 USD for the graduation gown and dinner. We are also informed that Binta will be required to have a phone to communicate with any company that she may be working with so that they can reach her (and so she can reach her family).
The first 6 months of work in what is referred to as an “attachment” is unpaid. The school will provide her meals, transportation, and uniforms during this 6 month period.
July 18th, 2018
Binta provides a full report:
It is with utmost pleasure to write back to you, showing appreciation and gratitude for your generosity. Being honoured to have the chance to attend a tertiary institution I say thank you. I have just finished my career at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institution and I can report that my academic are up for a good ending. My plans were to complete my certificate and Diploma level in this great institution where standard skills are thought and now I consider myself as a standard graduate. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this institute Basically, the lecturers at this institute are mainly PHD holders and they have a good rapport with students. Lectures are well presented to my understanding. On the contrary, few of the students I’ve met so far are a bit aloof, but I am fortunate to have met some that are sociable and do share the same interest with me. The institution will be taking me to one of the hotels for an attachment where I can earn myself a working experience, then have a full time job in the future where I might not only save a little income but will also gain more knowledge that will help in the development of my career. I am nervous at the moment because I am going to start a new chapter in my life! I hope to overcome it like always. As a graduate I take this opportunity to thank all of my sponsors for being part of my humble career and I’ll always remember you. Yours sincerely Binta Sanyang
The cost of a phone is 6,000 Dalasi ($124USD) and service is 720.53 Dalasi ($15USD) a month. We go ahead and purchase it. It will have to go in the budget. Either way, we’ll make it work!
Lamin knows how to budget. He bargained and picked up the phone for less thank 6,000 Dalasi and put the remaining money in the bank.
July 20th, 2018
Graduation Day for Binta!!! A very happy day for us all indeed!!!
Lamin receives his last report card for the 2017-2018 school year. He needs to work on his math!! Only one more year to go.
July 20th, 2018
Final grades are in for the rest of the family.
August 1st, 2018 – New Family Pictures!
In preparation for this year’s fundraiser for school, the family answered my request for updated family photos.
Entire family below (minus Binta – who is currently visiting a friend during a month break after her graduation and before she is sent to her work attachment.)
(When I asked Lamin why Yaya was pouting I was told that his bicycle is broken….he needs new tires, and a gear. He must have worn it out!)
Supplemental Information and Links For This Project:
Last Year’s Fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/year-2-of-3-gambia-education-fund
Previous Fundraising Videos for this Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VSWKqH6FLE&list=PLLB-82YMhiPELahPXv0yXQtqCyr6WQYTx
Previous Update on iDigitalMedium to include Fundraising Videos: https://idigitalmedium.com/sanyang/