Many Gambian children have lost months or even years of education, through family circumstances that have prevented them from attending classes. Some children have suffered neglect or abuse, some have been held back through long-term illness, and others have faced no choice but to work alongside adults in order to survive. Children with disabilities or particular needs suffer from a lack of specialist input, leaving them unable to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers.
Missing school can have dire consequences for a child. Not only do they lose vital skills of reading, writing, mathematics and comprehension, but they also miss out on developing interpersonal skills through playing and socialising with other children. Children who miss school can become isolated, and without the skills to find employment or study in adulthood, they continue to be trapped in a cycle of poverty. For young girls, a lack of education means early marriage and pregnancy.
For Gambian children who cannot easily access education, a sponsorship could mean the difference between a brighter future and a lifetime of poverty.