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Our
Journey

 

Who We Are

Doing it for the kids :-)

 

Welcome to the home of Children of Gambia Services, or COGS as we like to call ourselves. We are a UK based charity dedicated to meeting the educational, welfare and medical needs of children in the Gambia. 

 

Since our formation in April 2007, our ambition has been to give the children the very best opportunity to improve their prospects, their families’ prospects, and their living standards. 

 

This is achieved by funding the running costs and further development of the Tuti Nursery – a school for 85 children in Jabang village. By providing a steady income stream we can ensure the continuation of the great work being carried out by our Gambian team.

 

As for our trustees, well they’re all volunteers. And because we’re such a small registered charity with very low overheads, nearly all of the money we raise directly benefits the children in the Gambia. Something we’re very proud of.

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How We Started

The start of a beautiful marriage.

 

COGS all started when a group of friends and work colleagues visited the Gambia to attend the wedding of their friends Nina and Pa, who already had links to the village of Jabang.

 

The trip gave everyone the opportunity to see the true Gambia – visiting schools, compounds, hospitals, medical centres, and meeting many families. It set the foundation for some very strong friendships and inspired us to decide to build our very own school and medical facility in Jabang.

 

So we began raising funds. Plans were drawn up and meetings were held with the Early Childhood Education Department. We bought some land, cleared it, and building work commenced. A few months later and we not only had a school but a thriving community, built around an inspiring environment for learning and playing.

 

This was the start of our journey, and to be honest, we haven’t looked back. But our work is far from finished. With your help, we can continue to empower the Jabang community, create greater opportunities and develop further exciting projects.

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Our Timline

2008

Although it was rainy season, the building work commenced. With the help of volunteers from the UK, bricks were made and dried, and the footings dug. We gained charitable status and on 25th May 2008 the nursery school was officially named in a ceremony.

2009

Work was completed, with four classrooms, toilet facilities and staff accommodation. 72 children registered to attend the new Tuti Nursery. A substantial donation enabled us to purchase additional land next to the school which has subsequently become our garden area.

To this day, with the help of our gardener and teaching team, the garden enables the children to learn how to cultivate crops and supports the feeding programme at the school.

2010

Groups of volunteers continue to visit the nursery and help build store rooms and a kitchen. Nursery registrations go from strength to strength and we now have a waiting list.​

2011

Thanks to the volunteers, building works continue with plastering of the playground walls, and painting of the store room, classrooms, visual learning aids, and shelving in the kitchen.

Work on a bore hole commences which, once completed, enables the school to have much needed direct access to fresh clean water.

2012

Planning and fund raising starts for a birthing centre to support the community and expectant mums in the village – a long-term goal of the trustees in the UK.​

2013

A medical room is opened within the school. This continues to be used by local medical teams to immunise children in the school and surrounding villages against MMR. So families no longer have to travel many miles to be seen.​

2014

The building of the graduation area is completed. This area is used daily as an outside teaching area, a place for the children to eat daily meals, and as a venue for graduation ceremonies.​

2015

We make it our mission to supply each child with their own personal hygiene bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, flannels and soap. This helps to stop infection and teach children the importance of cleanliness.​

2016

COGS hosted a training event for teachers from surrounding schools about Development and Behaviour. Families and children were given a masterclass on how to clean and look after their teeth correctly.​

2017

Our 10 Year anniversary party in the Gambia. GRTS, Gambian TV came to film the celebrations and COGS made national news that night.​

2018

A brand new shiny website launched.

Birthing centre roof has finished and internal work has started.

2020

In March of 2020, amongst a global pandemic just starting, COGS had proudly won the Gambian APS Charity Award, A very proud moment for us.

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Meet the Team

The people who make things happen
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The UK Team

 

 

Nina Jabang

Trustee & Chairperson

chair@cogsgambia.org

 

 

 Julie Langdon

Trustee & Treasurer

treasurer@cogsgambia.org

 

Harriet Mason-Pearson

Trustee & Sponsorship Coordinator

sponsorship@cogsgambia.org

 

Maxine Sissoho

Trustee & Sponsorship Coordinator

sponsorship@cogsgambia.org

 

Toni Carter

Trustee

admin@cogsgambia.org

 

Drusilla Relf

Trustee & Secretary

 

Chris Bishop

Trustee & Minute Secretary

 

 Jonathan Relf

Communications & Media Officer

coms@cogsgambia.org

 

Pa Jabang

Trustee

 

Corrie Huntley

Trustee

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 Gambian Team,

Tuti Nursery

 

Simon Mendy

Headteacher

 

Raymond Jabang

Teacher

 

Mr A Joof

Coordinator

 

Adama Bah

Teacher

 

Ida Mendy

Teacher

 

Haddy Gaye

Cook

 

Isa Bah

Head Cook

 

Susan Mendy

School Nanny

 

Sam Sanyang

Maintenance Coordinator

 

Susan Jabang

Cook Coordinator