Gambia projects rewarding for role model Beth
A TEENAGER who went to Gambia last year to teach found it so rewarding that she has returned again to build a classroom.
Beth Grainger, 19, has flown out to the African country, where she will spend a week on the project.
The teen, who lives in Ilkeston, has gone there with a group of 12 to build the classroom at Sir Dembo School in Bundung Borehole.
The group are from the charity Every Last Drop, which was started by sixth form students at four Ilkeston schools to help youngsters in Gambia.
Before leaving for the trip last Tuesday, they had to raise £3,500 for building materials to go towards the project by holding coffee mornings and selling bottled water provided by Every Last Drop from a spring in Herefordshire.
It is the second time Beth has been to the school. In February last year she spent a week teaching there.
Beth, a student at Nottingham Trent University studying for a sports education development degree, said: "Last year our work was really varied. I was playing games with the children as well as teaching art and English and I also helped to build toilets at the school.
"This time we will be building a new classroom and have raised money to pay for that work. We use fairly basic materials and the local people help us. Going out there is so rewarding.
"The children are so happy, even when they've just got a crayon to play with."
David Jenkins, who helps the students run Every Last Drop, said: "It is a great opportunity for the students who have raised money to see first-hand the level of poverty children in Africa experience and how their fund-raising helps improve conditions."
As well as her charity work, Beth, a former pupil at Kirk Hallam Community, Technology and Sports College, is an ambassador for Erewash School Sports Partnership.
Her role includes creating programmes for youngsters at schools to get them interested in sport.Last year, her efforts were recognised when she won Volunteer of the Year at the Erewash Sports Awards and Young Volunteer of the Year and Young Sports Leader/Coach at the Derbyshire Sports Awards.
Rhian Lilley, development manager at Erewash School Sport Partnership, said: "Going to Gambia last year was a great experience for Beth and going back there is a real achievement.
"She is a real role model for other youngsters out there and should be proud of what she has achieved."