Little Smile presents two mini-buses to St. John
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Little Smile Foundation last Friday handed over two school mini-buses to St. John’s School for the Deaf at a presentation held at the school ground in Kanifing.
The donation of the mini buses was facilitated by a Dutch couple, Will and Annemarie Koch. In receiving the buses, Daniel J. Mendy, principal of the school, said they had the dream about a year ago, when the couple visited the school. He pointed out that transportation for their pupils has been a great challenge for years now as some walked kilometers daily to get to school and back.
The transportation challenges, he added, has been a nightmare for many students since the grounding of their old school buses.
“These new mini-buses would go a long way in saving our students from the trouble of trekking long distances and getting to school late.”
He observed that it is even challenging for the hearing to catch up transport much more the hard of hearing and as such, thanked donors.
Mendy expressed hope that they will be able to meet the running cost and maintenance of the buses, because in the past they used to collect from school fees to meet the running cost and maintenance. “But now there are no levies in schools.”
He thus appealed to the public to come to their aid to meet the running cost and maintenance of the buses.
Ousman Sonko, coordinator for Antwerp- Banjul Challenge in The Gambia, said they valued the St. John’s project out of all the list of projects they had received so far this year.
Sonko noted that it is almost a failure on the part of society if the school struggles for anything, saying the school should be one of the most resourced schools if ‘we are serious about human and social welfare.’
He challenged the school management to ensure the buses are durable and robustly maintained to meet their life span.
Sonko also observed that the school is not only challenged with transportation but other equally pressing issues and thus appealed for more support in other areas.
Wil Koch who, together with his wife facilitated the donation, thanked the school management for making it possible for them to support the school.
Alh. Amadou Touray, chairman of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) at the school, on behalf of the parents and students, thanked donors for the gesture.