An Educational Experience:
This annual trip to distribute aid by our Sixth Formers has been described as “life-changing” by many of our students. The visit, which has been going since 1990, allows the participating Sixth Form students to witness first-hand the problems that a developing world country faces from an economic, educational and environmental viewpoint. Because the trip has been going for so many years, we have developed strong links with communities in the villages and in the capital, Banjul. We are accompanied for much of the trip by Sixth Form students from the Gambian High School.
Every year our students have raised between £10,000 and £38,000 and taken it over there to fund projects in villages that we visit, many of which we’ve worked with for over twenty years. The students assess how effectively the money that was donated last year has been spent. They then research the current needs of each of the villages we visit and decide if and how much money should be donated to each village this year.
Over the many years we have visited, our students have raised a phenomenal amount, and through collaboration with our community partners we have funded water systems, school buildings, equipment and resources, health centre buildings and equipment, health care programmes and many other projects. Not only does this experience help our students broaden horizons and develop independence, it also presents an opportunity for them to effectively develop their debating and decision-making skills.
To see what we do and where your money goes please visit our Gambia Blog Page.
Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 trip to The Gambia has been cancelled.
December 2019 Visit
A Life-Changing Trip: Beacon Academy Sixth Form in the Gambia
Thanks to the phenomenal fundraising efforts of Beacon Academy Sixth Form students and the support of their families and the local community in and around Crowborough, our Sixth Formers raised an incredible amount for their latest visit, and during the course of their trip in December were able to allocate an astonishing £26,000 to a remarkable number of worthwhile projects.
A number of examples of the projects funded are below:
A new medical centre
Drugs, food and medical training for health centres
School buildings and classrooms
Food and staff quarters
A water tank
A women’s garden
Health centre buildings and equipment
- A Gambian High School student applying for a bursary to study Nursing at university
Not only does the trip greatly benefit the people in these village communities, but the students also benefit enormously from this as a learning experience. Sixth Former, Holly, who visited in 2018, comments,
“It’s not just a school trip. We’re there to connect with people and help them towards self-sufficiency. I hadn’t realised how hard it would be, knowing that we can’t help everyone that puts in a bid. In particular the students requesting bursaries to go to university – each one of them was so determined, motivated and deserving of our support. It was heart-breaking to realise that we couldn’t help all of them. That’s why having the debate at the end feels so significant and important. We know that the decisions we make will directly benefit these individuals, their families and communities, and it will create such a big impact.”
Click on the following link to read the full December 2018 report featuring testimonials from Year 13 students, Holly, Max and Reece.
Many thanks to Sixth Former, Jack Holcombe, for this short film about the Gambia 2017 visit:
Beacon Celebrates 25 Trips to the Gambia
Do you recognise someone in this picture? In 2016, Beacon Academy celebrated its 25th visit to the Gambia.
The picture above shows the group who went on that very first visit.
We here at Beacon are very proud of the efforts our students make to raise money for The Gambia. They really do make a difference in The Gambia and every contribution from members of the community and local businesses is greatly appreciated.
We would appreciate contributions such as: any time you or your staff could spare, prizes for fund-raising event, donations (cheques made payable to Beacon Community College), or anything else that you could spare that would help our students raise funds for this cause! In return we can list your organisation name on The Gambia web page on our school web site and print your logo on the t-shirts the students wear on the trip for publicity photos.
Trip organiser - Mr C Howarth - C.Howarth@beacon-academy.org