Withington Girls’ School raises money annually to support a number of community projects in the Gambia, most significantly the Mama Tamba School which Withington has supported since 2007. There is an annual trip for a team from Upper Sixth to witness these projects in action and support them on the ground.
Members of Withington’s teaching staff coordinate the Gambia project, and attend weekly meetings with the Upper Sixth Form team to help organise fundraisers throughout the academic year. They plan the annual trip and accompany the girls to the Gambia during the last week of the Autumn term.
The WithGambia project’s main focus is the Mama Tamba School in Illiassa. The 2017 Gambia team raised money to fund the construction of a borehole giving the village and school its own independent supply of fresh, clean water.
WithGambia also pays the salaries of the teachers at Mama Tamba, so that the children can attend the school free of charge.
The 2017 WithGambia team consisted of 13 Upper Sixth form students. The girls were responsible for fundraising for the trip, and raised over £6,000 in total. They raised this through various activities including organizing a meal for over 50 guests, a Promise Auction, tombolas, cake sales as well as gaining sponsorship for taking part in the Manchester Colour Run.
The team spent time in the Gambia doing arts and crafts with the children at the Mama Tamba school, and the artists in the group painted bright, colourful murals on the classroom walls.
The annual trip during the last week of the Autumn term has been running since 2004, and will continue for the foreseeable future. Fundraising begins a year in advance of each trip.