A local man’s project to build a school in the Gambia will reach completion thanks to a donation from the team at Belper.

Education for all

The teams at Specsavers in Belper, Derby, Normanton and Ripley have jointly donated £500 to the charitable fund ‘Education for All’, set up by Joachim Shotter, to provide the Jamwelly Jallow Kunda village in the Gambia with a school. The money will go towards buying the furniture and making the building ready for local children to attend lessons.

Store director, Andy McBride, said: ‘We’re thrilled to help such a worthwhile campaign. There’s still a way to go to raise funds for ongoing costs and maintenance, but hopefully our donation can furnish the building ready for the children.

‘We are also putting collection boxes in the Belper, Ripley, Normanton and Derby stores until Friday 30 September and would like to encourage the generous Derbyshire community to help by donating school items such as any stationary, colouring supplies, calculators, children’s story books and ruled exercise books. Joachim has worked tirelessly to provide the children with a place to enjoy an education and every little helps.’

Ongoing project

Joachim has conducted charity work in the Gambia for several years and took on the fundraising for the school in Jamwelly Jallow Kunda village after his friend Cherno was given a piece of land by the village’s chief and asked Joachim to assist with the project.

So far, the building has been completed, with security windows and doors, fencing around the playground and toilets. A borehole has also been dug to supply clean water to the school and village, and a field has been created to grow Cassava for the children to eat and learn how to grow their own crops. A local artist has been commissioned to paint some positive murals on the walls to inspire the children.

Joachim said: ‘I would like to thank Andy and the team at Specsavers Belper for the amazing donation which will allow the main phase of the project to be completed.

‘When I first got to Gambia I found so many people who could help and it was a very tough experience knowing you can’t help everyone even if you want to. I have to say this is probably the most inspiring thing I have ever done and now I know what to do, I will do it again somewhere else in the future once this is completed and running well.’


Detailed information about the project can be found on the website at: http://b2yed.org.uk/, and updates on the progress of the building can be found on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Education-for-All-Education-for-Africa-239445656239587/

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