Sunderland pupils defy ebola outbreak to help town in Gambia

Farringdon Community Academy pupils and staff in The Gambia last year.
Farringdon Community Academy pupils and staff in The Gambia last year.
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YOUNGSTERS from a city school will defy the ebola outbreak to fly out to West Africa this week.

Farringdon Community College has been supporting a town in Gambia for several years and Year 10 pupils will be working on a number of projects in the country.

Farringdon Community pupils load up their container for Gambia.

Farringdon Community pupils load up their container for Gambia.

Headteacher Howard Kemp said: “They will be working for something called the Gunjur Project. The project is run by a couple of British people, and the children will be staying in a secure compound on the site.”

Youngsters will be taking part in a number of volunteering opportunities during their stay, as well as getting a taste of life in Africa.

“This is something we have had going on for a while now, to build links between the community of Farringdon and the community of Gunjur,” added Mr Kemp.

“We see it as an educational experience for the children as well as a challenge.

Farringdon Community Academy pupils and staff in The Gambia last year.

Farringdon Community Academy pupils and staff in The Gambia last year.

“The school has been collecting resources which will be waiting for the pupils. There is a container that has already gone out by boat.

“It is full of equipment for the school and supplies of things such as pencils and paper.

“The pupils are really excited – we even have a Gambia Club that meets every week.”

The school has been monitoring the ebola situation, but the Gunjur project is hundreds of miles from the disease zone.

“There have been no reported cases of ebola in Gambia and Senegal – which surrounds Gambia –has been declared ebola free by the World Health Organisation,” said Mr Kemp.

“We are checking Foreign Office advice and with the National Travel Health Network and Centre website every day.”