Skipton couple Robin and Jacqui Moule have just returned from a charity mission to The Gambia.
The pair first visited the African country in 2009 when Robin’s company, Moule Media, funded a nine-month further education course for Kartong resident Steven Gibba.
Steven lives with over 30 members of his family in a compound in the Kartong, which has a population of some 5,200 people and is located 60 kilometres from the capital Banjul.
Following the Moules’ support, he has been accepted into the country’s police force and completed his initial training.
Robin said: “Steven’s mission in life is to help his fellow country people to learn new skills, improve their lives and work towards a better future. He has asked me, on behalf of his family and all in his village, to thank everyone in England for their continuing generosity, which does so much to help his people.
“Things may be difficult, but they always have a smile on their faces.”
The Moules have visited Kartong on a number of occassions. This time they took children’s clothes donated by family and friends, among them staff and customers at the Royal Shepherd in Skipton.
They also took a number of refurbished mobile phones donated by MPRO – a leading Yorkshire-based mobile phone recycling firm.
The unlocked phones, along with chargers, are now being put to good use by adults and schoolchildren in the village of Kartong in the south of The Gambia, close to the Senegal border.
Robin said: “Good, modern mobile phones are like gold dust in The Gambia, particularly in Kartong, which is far from the tourist hotspots and one of the poorest parts of the country.
“These MPRO handsets will not only help families better communicate, but will also prove a valuable educational aid to older schoolchildren, particularly those who have access to the internet.”
MPRO (Mobile Phone Recycling Organisation) is part of Calderdale-based telecoms group CommsProvider. Robin does media work for the company, and they stepped in to make the donations after learning of his latest trip to The Gambia.
Robin also presented “Smart Alec” keyring/torches to younger children in the village. “Smart Alec” is a campaign launched by MPRO across West Yorkshire schools that encourages pupils, teachers and parents to recycle old or redundant mobile phones to earn cash for their own schools or chosen charities.
MPRO managing director Johann Shepherd said: “We were keen to help out on learning of the urgent need for mobiles in The Gambia. Here in the UK, business-education partnerships remain key to our community support ethos.”
On previous visits, donations have included bibles donated by parishioners at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, which were presented to the local Christian church, St Martin’s in Kartong.