GOVI, the Gambia Organisation for the Visually Impaired, is a registered non-governmental organisation which was founded in Banjul in 1991 after a merger between The Gambia Society for the Blind and The Gambia Association of the Blind.
The GOVI Resource Centre in Kanifing South is the only special needs school for children with impaired vision in The Gambia.
The school educates children up to Grade 4. They then enter mainstream education in a Lower Basic School.
There are approximately 60 children at the school. Many of them have other disabilities besides impaired vision.
Many children come from very poor homes even by Gambian standards.
The school charges no fees; it also provides uniforms, school materials and lunches.
The school runs two buses but some of the pupils live away from the bus routes and need to take “bush taxis” before they meet the bus.
The salaries of the teachers are paid for by the state, but the upkeep of the buildings and the provision of school materials is paid for by a number of charitable organisations that support the school.
The Friends of The Gambia has been one of those organisations since November 2014.
Since then FoTGA has supplied the following on a regular basis:
- Rice for lunches, 21 bags per year. Each bag holds 50kg (1 cwt);
- Fares for six children who live away from the bus routes.
FoTGA has also paid for the rebuilding of a section of the perimeter wall which was a serious danger to the pupils and the public.