Couple’s overseas project

Sarah and Yusupha Darboe
Sarah and Yusupha Darboe

A couple from Hankham is calling on the community to help support a school overseas.

Yusupha and Sarah Darboe set up The Fatimatou Zahra Islamic & English School Project with a friend last November and are keen to gain funds in order to buy equipment for the pupils.

Yusupha, a Gambian who moved to the UK around six years, was keen to support the school in his home village of Lamin.

The project has already been given a boost by the generous donation of furniture from Willingdon Primary School and hundreds of books from Eastbourne Academy.

This has meant the children, boys and girls aged 11 - 18, no longer have to sit on the floor or benches and work on their laps.

When Yusupha visited the school in November last year they gave him a list of equipment they needed including exercise books, pens, pencils, stationery and art materials.

They also needed funds for an IT room, computers, printers, a sports area, an extra classroom so Year Five and Six don’t have to share and more/better toilet facilities.

The pupils learn Arabic and English and all their lessons are taught in these languages as well their own Mandinka.

The 37-year-old said the aim of the project is to encourage Gambian people who do not understand the importance and need of letting their children learn English and other disciplines as they have negative thoughts about their children learning English at school.

He added, “Taking from my own experience I realise how connected one can become and able to do things around the world is by striving and working hard to be at least educated, skilled and aware of the need to be able to read, write and speak English, which has nothing to do with one’s personal beliefs, if any.”

Wife Sarah, 45, added, “It’s something I’m very passionate about.

“I’ve spent time in South Africa as a volunteer in a school as a support teacher.

“Over here I teach basic skills and employability skills for children.

“Basic education is a very important thing.”

If you would like to support the project or find out more email: or call 655026.