BACE - Building and Supporting Communities With Education
BACE is a Registered Charity in the UK and the Gambia and was set up in 2011 by 5 Trustees, each of whom had supported other Gambia based charities for several years beforehand.
Bonsa village is based in the Western Division of The Gambia and the challenges the villagers faced were vastly different to the rural communities which all Trustees had previously supported. They made the decision to raise the funds to provide basic education and healthcare for Bonsa and the surrounding villages.
Throughout 2011, enough money was raised to build the school and a sanitation block, taking a group of 35 volunteers out to do the majority of the building work. BACE has relied on volunteers since for both fundraising and building, and over the years has added a small garden, playground, water tower, accommodation for teaching staff, and soon a high quality medical facility.
The Trustees of BACE are very conscientious about costs and will always explore all options to ensure they limit the charity overheads as much as possible, to ensure the majority of funds are spent directly on our projects abroad.
All Trustees work on an entirely voluntary basis, and have full time careers in the UK. Like our volunteers they pay for their own travel, costs and other expenses every trip they make.
Since our work started, along with the staff employed in The Gambia, we have developed a strong bond and trust with the villagers and we are keen in the future to continue to build on this. Our communities now work together for the benefit of the majority and not just the minority of Gambians who have access to this basic level of care.
We have seen first-hand the Children of Favour Nursery Schools confidence develop, and with that will come self-respect and a desire to pass on what they have learned to their siblings and friends in the community.
After months of research, in March 2013 The Trustees purchased an additional 2 acres of land to commence the build of The BACE Primary Health Care Clinic. This clinic was in response to the village need for accessible and local treatment. In bush villages, minor aliments can often become fatal if not treated early enough, and we have a responsibility to both our students and their families to stop this happening.
This project is aimed at complimenting the Gambian Governments effort in making health facilities accessible to all Gambians, and once open, the facility will support a 20,000 strong catchment area.
To date we have raised over £200,000 through grants, events and an individual donor campaign, and we are grateful to every member of the BACE family for making this possible. Your support will always be required to help us sustain the work achieved to date and we look forward to welcoming you into the BACE family.