Ministry in the Gambia started after Bill Lindop and his late wife Irene went on holiday there in November 1986. They visited the Methodist Primary School in Banjul, and were shocked to see a tin shed divided into three classrooms housing 186 children. They were so touched by the need that on their return they started to raise funds. The Trinity Harvest Appeal in 1988/89 and Christmas Day appeal gave funds to start the work and the Woking Block was 'born'. The ground floor was built at a cost of £16,000 and was opened in 1991 and was followed by the upstairs block in 1993. The total cost was £33,000. The wording in the photograph above of the plaque on the side of the Woking Block says ‘The ground floor was opened on the 6th November 1991 by the Hon. B.B. Dardo Vice President and Minister of Education, Youth Sports and Culture. The top floor was opened on the 1st April 1993 by the Hon. Alieu E.W. Badie Minister of Education. This plaque was unveiled by Mr and Mrs W. Lindop, of Trinity Methodist Church, Woking, whose initiative and hard work made this building possible.'
Education sponsorship followed for a number of students. Bill and Irene’s attention was then drawn to the plight of The Medical Board who did not have the funds to provide medical equipment to the village clinics that had been set up some years before. Subsequently, for a number of years the medical drugs were provided and shipped by container at a cost of £4,000/£5,000 per year.
Over the years the following work has been done:
1999 - new building erected for a clinic at the village of Sohm plus two extra rooms for post and ante natal care.
2000 - a group of young adults and young people spent two weeks helping to start work on a new clinic and church at Mukumba-ya.
2003 - water was piped into the clinic at Marakissa from a bore hole and this bore hole was later to supply water to the village. Two miles of two inch pipe were laid with thirteen stand pipes. The last stage of three-quarters of a mile with four stand pipes will be completed later this year.
2008/2009 - 50% of the Harvest appeal was given for the continuing work in the Gambia.
Funds given by Trinity along with other churches far and wide and the generous support of friends and members of Trinity amount to in excess of £200,000 to date. Fund raising has taken many forms from concerts at Trinity, sponsored walks, slide shows, talks and a charity golf day.
July 2014 -
During a visit to the Gambia, we had the pleasure of getting to know people within the Marakissa community. Malang helped refurbish the clinic because of the help it gave to his family. In doing so he gave up several days work, even though he could ill-afford to do so. As we worked together we learned that he not only has several jobs, but is training to be an electrician. Having studied hard and got great grades he won an apprenticeship. But unlike in the UK, this is unpaid and lasts up to 7 years. We might consider it slave labour, he considers himself blessed and having an opportunity to earn a good living for his family. Some Trinity members helped Malang by buying him the tools he will need to carry out his trade. The picture (below) shows the tools that were sent out to the Gambia.
After collecting items from a local school which had moved premises, a 40 ft container was filled and dispatched to The Gambia. It is expected to arrive in mid February.