Ex teacher sees how city charity is helping educate orphans in Gambia

HELPING HAND: Ridwana Wallace-Laher, from the Penny Appeal, met with orphans during her fact-finding trip to The  Gambia.

HELPING HAND: Ridwana Wallace-Laher, from the Penny Appeal, met with orphans during her fact-finding trip to The Gambia.

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A worker from a Wakefield based humanitarian charity has been to The Gambia to see how orphans are benefitting from money raised in Yorkshire.

Former teacher Ridwana Wallace-Laher, a partnerships manager for the Penny Appeal, visited a number of orphanages where she met children as-young-as five.

Thanks to the generosity of Yorkshire folk they are now being educated in one of the best schools in The Gambia.

The mum-of-two, from the Wood Street based charity, said: “These orphans have nothing. Many lost their parents at a young age and have nobody to look after them. They are living on the streets and are vulnerable to disease and exploitation, it truly is heartbreaking.

“By providing a safe place for these children to grow up, we can offer them the security they need to play and to learn. I am blessed to be able see the difference we are making to the lives of these kids, speaking as a mother myself, I cannot thank our donors and volunteers enough for their support.”

During her four-day visit

Ridwana also checked the progress of a new orphan complex that is due to open later this year. It will include ten new orphan homes, a play area and a garden.

She also caught up with the team who run the Thirst Relief programme, which provides villages with reliable access to clean water. She added: “The women and children of the village had to walk for hours to fetch water, which was not clean. But now, thanks to Thirst Relief, they can access safe, clean water on their doorstep.”