Taking the plunge!

Select Resorts is proud to be working in conjunction with the Westbourne Rotary Club to raise funds for Stella's School Scheme;

Lee, Samuel and Melissa are to take the plunge on 9th May 2015.....literally!! A 15,000 ft sky dive will see them raise money for Stella's School Scheme.

Donations can be made by the link below.

Sambel Kunda nursery children trying their new uniforms

With thanks to Jason Florio for the wonderful photo's

Salieu Jallow

Several years ago, Stella was very impressed by a young lad of 10 yrs old who was a cow herder with an insatiable appetite for knowledge. A very bright and determined child he lived in Sambel Kunda with his mother who was poorer than the average villager as she had no husband. She could not afford to send him to school so Salieu's answer to this was to “park” the cows in his care close to the village school and glean what information he could from listening in at the classes through the window or over hearing conversations in the playground.

When his herd took him close to Stella's Chimpanzee Rehabilitation camp he would ask Stella and the staff seemingly endless amounts of questions. He used to help the staff with their chores and in return borrow any reading material he could, and with their help his thirst for knowledge grew. Interspersed with all the questions, Salieu was forever telling everyone how he wanted to go to school to learn and be with the other children.

As a result of his persistence Stella began to take an interest in Sambel Kunda village school. She discovered it cost very little to send a child to primary school for a year. Salieu's enthusiasm and appetite for learning made a big impression on her and so she undertook to personally sponsor his education. She also decided to try and persuade others to do the same for the other children of Sambel Kunda, the rest is history and SSS was born.

Since Salieu's beginning and your generous sponsorship, literally hundreds of children from Sambel and the surrounding villages now have access to education. The village school has been rebuilt, a completely new nursery school has been constructed and many older students have access to tertiary education.

As he grew older, like many young men around the world, he sought his own identity and as a teenager, despite attending one of the best schools in The Gambia he did not apply himself as well as he might of. He wanted to be a vet and worked during his holidays with Heather at Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust, he was an avid learner when he had an interest in the subject, so we were confident that when he overcame his teenage rebelliousness, he would do really well for himself. He went off to work for a local organisation and we had not seen him recently in the village.

Today, we heard the very sad news that he has died as a result of a short illness, we're unsure of the detail, but understand he had been admitted to Hospital with stomach pains. A GHDT vehicle has gone to collect and bring his body home for burial. He was in his early twenties and not yet old enough or mature enough to realise how much he had achieved and how many other people he had helped as a result of his tenacity and curiosity. We shall miss him very much.

Rest in Peace Salieu Jallow, you have left a really worthwhile legacy for one so young.

Visit to Sambel Kunda January 2014

Buying uniforms for the nursery children in Sambel Kunda is not quite as easy as popping down to M&S or Tesco here !! First you have to travel the 160 miles from Sambel Kunda to Banjul to find a material shop. Then you have to choose your material and agree on a price, then transport the material back up to Sambel. Then arrange for the tailor to come to the skills centre to measure all the children, then make all the uniforms using a foot treadle sewing machine (no electricity in Sambel !!), then get all the children to try on. But it is worth all of it just to see the children's faces who are so happy with their new clothes.

Sunday 23rd June 2013 Cheltenham Circular Challenge 26 miles

Huge Thanks to Jeanette and Helen Aron, Joni Caswell, Tom Watkins, Debbie French, Lyn Whittaker, Lou and Podge Spencer and Ros and Russell Harris for completing The Cheltenham Challenge and everyone who sponsored us. We raised the fantastic amount of £ 2,846!


Sambel Visit January 2013

I spent 2 weeks in Sambel Kunda in January this year and it was wonderful to take delivery of the new desks and benches that had been locally made for the nursery school and funded by donations and the charity choir concert.

Mini Olympics

Ros with two teaching students Charlotte Smith and Emily Preidt have recently returned from 2 weeks in Sambel Kunda where they held a very successful mini Olympics.

The event was held in conjunction with the help and support of Gotherington School and the children from both schools took part in the same events and the results were recorded.

Sambel Kunda children were overall winners and were presented with medals and a trophy.

You can read more about the event here and more images of the event are available in the image gallery.

Sambel Kunda Visit December 2011

Another successful trip was made in December 2011 to see the new borehole and tap at the school which will provide clean, fresh water for the children of Sambel Kunda. Many thanks to Gotherington School for their fantastic fundraising for this important project.

The nursery classrooms are full to capacity and it was wonderful to see the play equipment in constant use !!