Saturday, 27 June 2015

Once upon a time ...

It all seems a long time ago, but it's only twelve years since we began visiting the Gambia. At first it was with our friends, Ian and Glynn Jones, of Northwich. They were the ones who had started building the school in Mandinari (I think they have at least four more schools to their credit by now!).
Together we founded SHINEAfrica, a charity dedicated to improving education at Nursery school level. I continued to work as a Trustee of SHINE but realised I was becoming more concerned about healthcare and education for older girls and women. Joyce and I founded GOES (Gambian Occasional Emergency Support) and this blog follows the work done since then.
We are helping with the education of teachers and nurses, with stocking the supply cupboards of the main hospital in Banjul and other village clinics. We have managed to increase the supply of piped water where available and funded the digging of wells where the piped supply has not yet reached.
The eagle-eyed among you may spot a few errors in the text printed below but we remain grateful to the support given us over the years by our local newspaper, particularly when the latest book in the Malinding Village series rolls off the Kindle!
Best wishes to all who work with SHINEAfrica, our supporters and our readers in general.
Thanks again,
Joyce & Tom

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Every little helps!

Total number of searches by all easysearch organisations: 112662 Searches by Gambian Occasional Emergency Support (GOES): 112 Amount raised for Gambian Occasional Emergency Support (GOES): £0.56 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      

We use easysearch to search the internet - GOES receives 0.5p for each search which mounts up! This is the total for last week, so 52 x 0.5p = £26 for a year and that is a really useful amount - several mosquito nets or a couple of sacks of rice or help with a girl's school fees or cement for repairing a rain damaged house or ... you see what we mean when we say 'every penny counts!'
Or you could buy all the Malinding village eBooks ...
Best wishes,

Monday, 15 June 2015

People are so kind and helpful!

Caroline Hawkridge's photo.
Another beautiful poster by Liz Leech of Vale Royal Writers, great line-up and the raffle supports GOES, Tom and Joyce's amazing charity work in Gambia.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Romantic Adventure Stories

Talking to friends at our writers' group last night some of my books were described as 'Romantic Adventures'. I certainly hadn't thought of them in this way but I see the point - they generally have happy endings and they do involve people falling in love ... OK: Romantic Adventure it is. Well, certainly 'Empty Bananas' and 'Mussukunda' and 'The Mechanical Girl' are, mostly. Not so sure that 'Mussukunda' , 'Chasing Freedom Home' and 'Story's End' are quite the same genre. You could read them and let me know? All available on Amazon Kindle eBooks as 'The Malinding Village Series'.
Hmmm. Romantic Travel Fiction, perhaps?
Just a reminder that all proceeds from the sale of the books goes to GOES to help schools and clinics and lots more.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Happy memories!

Must be twelve years since I was first welcomed by the people in this compound. They've remained very good friends ever since. It was washing day - there's a lot of ironing to be done with that hot charcoal filled iron! Still, I was offered a very good meal - fish benechin if I remember rightly - and a bed was found for me in a neighbouring compound. I posted a picture of me a few days ago - taken last year, of me asleep under this same tree. Happy days. Can't wait to return.
Ten minutes walk in one direction takes you to the market place, the nursery school and the village clinic. Ten minutes in the opposite direction takes you along a sandy path through the 'gardens' (allotments or smallholdings) down to the river.