• Sixth Form

During the Easter holidays, a group of Sixth Form pupils, accompanied by several staff members, journeyed to The Gambia to engage in numerous community projects, continuing to foster and nurture the longstanding 32-year relationship between MSJ and this vibrant African country.

In 1992, two pioneering women spent their holiday in The Gambia and met a young taxi driver called Lamin Jammeh. He took them up-country to his family home in Illiassa – an area well off the beaten track where people lived in huts without clean water, communication, medication or sanitisation. 

Coming home to their teaching jobs in Malvern, both women decided to take a group of pupils over to West Africa to visit and provide some hands-on support for the people within the villages of The Gambia. With money they raised, they built the first schoolroom at Illiassa, initiating the opportunity for cultural exchange and travel which MSJ girls have been benefitting from for over thirty years. 

Now, when MSJ visit Illiassa, staff and pupils stay in the village and eat and converse with the local people as we continue to provide practical and financial support to projects for which this community is known as a beacon of progression, education and empowerment. 

Since those early projects, MSJ has supported the development of two schools, a medical centre, a processing plant, a skills centre and a garden which includes a banana plantation and moringa production.  

This year, the girls poured their hearts into transforming a nursery school with vibrant paint and dedication. Supported by the MSJ Community, they delivered over £300 worth of essential medication to those in need, committing to ongoing support with medication distribution every two months. Beyond medical aid, they extended their impact by delivering parcels of supplies to local women, attending workshops to learn practical skills like crafting soaps from moringa, and even contributing to sustainable agriculture by planting banana trees that will be ready to harvest by Christmas. Pupils found joy in teaching and playing with local children, sharing songs and games, leaving a lasting impression of compassion and service.