Total grants awarded to this project by Pass It On Africa: £77,273

FSSS end of project report
A section of the completed centre

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that this project is now complete! The Fresh Start Skills Centre, now christened "The Hub" opened in September to 104 infant students between the ages of 4 and 6 years to access a basic pre-school education. In addition the centre will allow 24 young people to gain skills based training in
carpentry, metal work, conservation, farming and woodland management.

You can download our full end of project report to the right.

Project History

Photo gallery

Pass It On Africa have embarked on  Project 3 in conjunction with a fantastic charity called The Fresh Start Foundation. The Fresh Start Foundation was established in 2006 by Lamin and Rebecca Daffeh, in order to support orphans and other vulnerable children in The Gambia, West Africa. The Fresh Start Foundation is a registered charity in the United Kingdom and a registered Non Government Organisation (NGO) in The Gambia.

FSF supports children between the ages of 7 to 18 years old, whom, due to poverty are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. FSF's main focus is to provide access to education and health care.

The Foundation provides these children with the following provisions:

  • Access to mainstream schools
  • Educational resources
  • Access to health care
  • Clean water and sanitation

In January 2010, the Pass It On Africa team travelled to the Kwinella school to work alongside FSF to come up with a plan of action for the advancement of education in the region.

school perimeter fence

What have we achieved so far?

In November 2009, Pass It On Africa funded the purchase of solar panels for the school. These solar panels have enabled the school to have electricity in the classrooms and in particular, to power a computer that will enable both Pass It On Africa and FSF to keep in regular contact with the school.

James, Matt, Niki and Sophie spent a week at the school in January 2010 helping with the restoration of the school, along with a great group of FSF volunteers from the company LUSH.

During their time there, the Pass It On Africa team shot a documentary film that is being used to communicate the problems at the school and help us raise the much needed funds to continue helping Kwinella Lower Basic School. 

Thanks to the generous support of our fundraisers, runners, heroes and general-good-people, Pass It On Africa has been able to fund the building of a perimeter wall around the school which will provide security and prevent pesky animals travelling through the courtyard and disturbing classes (chicken are a source of amusement wherever you are in the world!)

The wall was completed in August 2010.

The Fresh Start Skills Centre

The original aim of the Fresh Start Foundation was to build the Fresh Start Community Centre in Busumbala. Many children move to the more populated areas around Banjul to try and earn a living, without an education. This has resulted in overpopulation, sexual abuse and youth crime. Due to Busumbala's proximity to the capital, the cost of the project was too high. As you can see from our film, the compromise FSH made was to plan to build the centre in Kwinella instead.

However in October 2010, thanks to the great work FSF have done, they were given allowances to build the centre in Busumbala for the same price as the Kwinella build. (£62,473). At present there is no vocational training facility for young people in this region.  

Pass It On Africa have funding the entire build of the Fresh Start Skills Centre.

This facility will allow young people to gain skills based training in carpentry, metal work, conservation, farming and woodland management. The centres operational strategy will be based on supporting children who are victims or at risk of abuse and exploitation (a big problem in and around the more populated areas), children who are unskilled, vulnerable and those who are excluded from society.

"There is no experience of NGO programming in The Gambia for victims of child abuse and exploitation. At the moment, there are no known programmes for the re-habitation and re-integration of victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse outside the government set up." - UNICEF 2006

In August 2010 Pass It On Africa made a first phase payment for £26,000 to get the project started.

“With the funds provided by Pass It On Africa we were able to make 32,456 blocks which will build: 3 classrooms, a library, a staff room, administrative offices, a kitchen, a dining room, an assembly hall, 2 meeting rooms, a conference hall and a temporary emergency accommodation for street children, a perimeter fence and an outdoor sports area with basic sporting facilities. 200m of the perimeter has now been erected. Finally, we have also been able to pay the builders to start the foundations and purchase all essential material (gravel), binding wire, iron rods” - Lamin Daffeh, Fresh Start Foundation founder, Nov 2010

Between February and May 2011 PIOA awarded a further £17,600 to pay for the centre to be built up to roof level, fix windows, doors, flooring and also fix the ceiling and the roof.

In April 2012, following HEROES RUN London, PIOA sent a grant for £4,000 to part complete the Centre roof.

In June 2013, PIOA awarded the final £14,000 needed to complete the project.

Below are some progress photos of the centre build final stages and the children enjoying the new facilities.

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Skills Centre Roof
Skills Centre roof complete, May 2012
Our aims for the future
The centre is now run entirely independently by FSF. PIOA are committed to continuing to support our charity partners and look forward to receiving future grant applications for funding.
Skills centre
Skills centre
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