FAQ

What is ”1 to 3”?

A UK Registered Charity (1082151)
Working to support education and welfare in the village of Wellingara, The Gambia, West Africa.

What is “Wellingara Community Initiative Support”?

CIS is a Gambian-registered charity – a voluntary organisation responsible for the running of Wellingara Nursery School, Adult Literacy classes, a Health Clinic and administration for the Child Sponsorship Scheme. Families need to register with CIS to be included on the Sponsorship Scheme waiting list. CIS also carries out ‘sensitisation’ meetings to educate the villagers regarding malaria, environmental health, HIV/AIDS etc.

Why sponsor a child?

Poverty is a very real threat to the lives of children in developing countries such as The Gambia. Each day many struggle for the basics we take for granted in Great Britain – things like clean water, nutritious food, sanitation, education and health care.

As a sponsor you have the power to make a difference and by joining the 1 to 3/CIS project in Wellingara, you will be able to develop a long-term personal relationship with the family and the community. If you are a parent or grandparent, sponsorship is a tangible way to show children the way families live in a developing country. The story of Fatoumatta

How much does sponsorship cost?

Sponsorship costs £17.50 per calendar month. £12.50 is allocated to the child and £5 to the Nursery School towards the salaries of the voluntary teachers. (In The Gambia, teachers are not paid until Lower Basic Primary level - 7+years.) No part of your donation is used for administration.

How do I send my sponsorship donation?

You may choose to pay quarterly, half-yearly or annually by Standing Order. Most donors pay quarterly on the dates shown on the payment form.

What happens to my sponsorship donation?

In order to keep costs as low as possible, 1to3 transfers the money to CIS quarterly but your sponsorship is paid monthly to a parent of the child (usually the mother) and the receipt book is signed or thumb-printed.  Ken Diko the CIS Coordinator is responsible for issuing the payment and he is now helped by the assistant social worker, Bakary B Dampha. Buba, as he is known, travels around Wellingara on his motor bike (paid for by UK sponsors) visiting the compounds of the sponsored children to monitor how the money is spent.  He also checks the general welfare of the family and the condition of the compound and if necessary will go to a child’s school to check progress.  Buba is also responsible for arranging for letters/drawings/school reports to be collected and forwarded to Marj Jawo, the UK Sponsorship Secretary who logs the various communications before posting on to sponsors. Click here to find out how we spend the money.

Can I choose which child to sponsor from the waiting list?

The waiting list is ordered in priority of need as determined by CIS, but you may, if you wish, select any child from the list. A portfolio is available with photographs and background details of each child and his/her family. Contact the sponsorship secretary Marj Jawo

What will I receive if I decide to sponsor a child?

We will send you the details of a child who urgently needs your help including a photograph, a copy of the current 1 to 3 Newsletter, information about Wellingara Nursery School and payment details form.

How will my child be helped in real terms?

Two-thirds of your donation goes directly to the family and this money may be used for medical costs, or to buy clothes (including school uniform) shoes or a school bag. The money could also assist the whole family if food is bought – a 50k bag of rice or fresh vegetables, fish or meat. If the child is well nourished he/she is less likely to succumb to disease (malaria in particular) and can attend school on a regular basis.

How can I monitor my child’s progress?

A copy of the annual school report (where available) will be sent from Wellingara. When 1 to 3 Trustees go to Wellingara (generally twice a year) they visit the children sponsored since the previous trip, in their home. All the other children are seen at the school.

Can I write to my child?

1 to 3 positively encourages sponsors to make contact with their child by writing letters, sending photographs, birthday cards, holiday cards etc. All communications should be addressed to the child c/o Mr Ken Diko, Wellingara Community Initiative Support, PO Box1499, Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa. Mr Diko is the sponsorship co-ordinator for CIS. Please do not put your home address on any communications as others may use it to send ‘begging’ letters. If the child is too young to understand English, someone will translate into the child’s own tribal language.

Letters, drawings etc. from your child will be sent direct to the 1 to 3 Sponsorship Secretary. A note is made in the child’s file and the communication is then forwarded to you. In this way we can monitor that contact is being maintained. If the child is too young to write, then the letter may be written by one of the teachers or a literate family member.

Can I send presents to my child?

Small lightweight packages can be sent c/o Mr Diko (address above) but you should be aware that post occasionally does not arrive at their P.O. Box in Banjul or may take several weeks before it is delivered. In the past, visiting Trustees have taken small gifts on behalf of sponsors but the growing number of sponsored children is making this impractical. CIS committee ask that if a sponsor wishes to send extra money ‘privately’, they state exactly what it is for.

How long does the sponsorship last?

Most sponsors undertake to assist their child throughout their school years to 19. It is up to individual sponsors to decide whether to continue if the child progresses into further education. 1 to 3 appreciates that, at any time, changed circumstances for the sponsor may mean that sponsorship cannot continue. If this happens, continuity of sponsorship would be sought by 1 to 3 as quickly as possible.

What about Gift Aid?

If you are a taxpayer and tick the Gift Aid box on the payment form, this means we can maximise your donation by claiming 28p in the £ from the taxman. This money is then used wholly for the benefit of CIS, for needs deemed appropriate by the Trustees of 1 to 3.

Can I visit my child in the Gambia?

YES! If you have a holiday in The Gambia (highly recommended) during school terms, we can arrange for you to visit Wellingara Nursery School and meet the children and staff. If your child is at another school, it is usually possible for arrangements to be made so that you can meet and you will be able to visit the family compound. Just contact Meg Lyon (Chairman) or Marj Jawo (Sponsorship Secretary) and arrangements will be made for you to be welcomed at the school

Can a group sponsor a child?

Yes, schools, or community groups and other organisations can do this. However, this needs careful discussion to ensure continuity. Please ask for details.

Is there another way to help 1 to 3?

If you do not wish to commit to sponsorship but would still like to help the community in Wellingara, you can do this by setting up a Standing Order with your bank to donate a sum of your choice at regular intervals.



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