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Charity founder calls for support after cancer diagnosis

PUBLISHED: 16:38 22 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:46 22 October 2017

Charity founder Janet Clark in Gambia with charity co-worker Jane Moore. Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education

Charity founder Janet Clark in Gambia with charity co-worker Jane Moore. Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education

Gambian Aid Through Education

The founder of a charity that improves the lives of some of the poorest communities in West Africa is calling for support after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Pupils at the Yallal Ba basic school in the Gambia are able to use a computer for the first time in their lives thanks to Janet Clark of Mattishall through her charity Gambian Aid Through Education, Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education Pupils at the Yallal Ba basic school in the Gambia are able to use a computer for the first time in their lives thanks to Janet Clark of Mattishall through her charity Gambian Aid Through Education, Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education

Janet Clark, from Mattishall, founded Gambian Aid Through Education with her husband in 2005 and over twelve years the charity has helped to provide essential needs such as clothes, water, education and health care to people in Gambia.

But earlier this month Mrs Clark was told by doctors that she has cancer and will need to undergo a number of treatments to fight the disease.

The diagnosis means that the future of the charity is uncertain and it is in desperate need of volunteers. Mrs Clark is now appealing to people in Norfolk to get in touch with her and help keep it operating.

“We need people who can offer to help whether it is for an hour a week or even just half a day each month, it can all be flexible,” she said.

A football team in the Gambia trying on their new football stripes from Dereham. Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education A football team in the Gambia trying on their new football stripes from Dereham. Picture: Gambian Aid Through Education

“I can break up what I do and teach people how to do it. For example, we regularly send clothes to Africa and we need someone to help to sort and pack them, we also hold four meetings a year and we could do with someone who can help take the minutes.

“We live in an affluent society where if something goes wrong there is usually someone there to help, whether it is a food bank, a child charity or one of many other agencies that are there.

“This is a chance for people to give something back to desperately poor people who have nowhere else to turn. According to the World Bank 30pc of Gambians are living on under £1 a day and while it is a small country with a small population, there are more young men from there trying to get to Europe than from any other country. The situation is so desperate.”

Since the charity was formed it has helped build 18 wells in Gambia, covered every bed in 10 villages with mosquito nets, put three teachers through teachers training college and they are supporting three more who are currently in college.

They have also turned three failing schools into centres of excellence and sponsored over 100 children to put them through education when they would otherwise have been unable to attend school.

For more information about rhe charity or to volunteer to help, find the charity on Facebook.

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