Norfolk charity helps Gambian children

Some of the world's poorest people have been given vital help thanks to thousands of pounds raised by a Norfolk-based charity.

Villagers in the remote community of Sara Samba Jawo in Gambia now have access to water from their own well, have life-saving mosquito nets and fencing around their market garden.

Funding has come from Gambian Aid Through Education, which was founded by Janet Clark, of Mattishall.

She began her charitable work after spending a winter holidaying in Africa's smallest country in 1999.

Janet was so moved by what she saw that she decided to begin raising money and has collected over �50,000.

She has now been joined by Marney Kuyateh from Garvestone and they went in February to see the real impact their fund raising has made.

Janet said: 'It is a very poor village. When we first went there I said: 'We need to help these people.'

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'Gambia is the 20th poorest country in the world and these are some of the poorest people in Gambia, so they are certainly of the poorest people in the world.

'When they see us their faces light up.'

'I still feel absolutely passionate and this is God led,' said Janet, who said a little child has been named Janet after her.

'That is a huge compliment,' she said.

The well is 22m deep and it was dug by hand and means the people no longer have to walk three kilometres to carry every drop of their water.

Mosquito nets have also been bought for all 200 beds in the village.

One in five children die from malaria and Janet said: 'They have told us that the incidents of malaria have fallen dramatically since they have had their bed nets.'

On Saturday July 16 there is a Drumathon at Gressenhall Museum by drummers from All Saints Church at Mattishall.

*To find out more about the charity contact Janet on 01362 858221 or e-mail l.w.clark@btinternet.com.

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