Students learn life lessons in Gambia

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Students at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy have spoken about the life lessons they learned during a trip volunteering at a school in Gambia.

The students spent a week in Gambia where they helped at Sir Dembo’s Nursery and handed out medical supplies in a local village.

They also gave out frisbees, footballs and rugby balls donated by the Decathlon store at Giltbrook, where student Holli Patrick, 18, works.

The academy has been supporting Sir Dembo’s since 2009 through its Every Last Drop charity and has raised money to pay for improvements to buildings, teachers’ wages, rent and provided equipment.

During the trip students ran themed events at the school including a craft day.

Sixth former Georgia Tomlinson, 18, said she was shocked at how little the pupils had.

She said: “There weren’t any tables and some children were sitting on a broken bench. We did a craft day for them with materials that we had taken out there and the children were just mesmerised. We did some painting and made collages. What amazed us all though is that they were all so happy and it’s definitely given me a different perspective.”

Student Gerard Cieslik, 17, said the trip was one of the best weeks of his life.

He said: “We have learned so much from the Gambia experience and the amazing hospitality they showed us. It was a very emotional and unforgettable experience.”