The why.....

In May 2015, fueled by compassion and a profound desire to make a tangible difference, Sharon and I established the charitable organisation Siiboo. Our inception was inspired by our eye-opening journey to the Gambia in February of the same year. During our travels, we found ourselves deeply moved by the impoverished conditions in the village of Bakindik. It was on our way to James Island that we witnessed firsthand the hardships endured by the villagers. Struck by the urgency to contribute positively to their lives, We engaged with the headmaster of the local Nursery School, learning about the formidable challenges he faced. Moved by the resilience and spirit of the children, who sang, danced, and studied amidst adversity, we were inspired to take action and registered Siiboo to embark on a mission of compassion and change.

...and the who.

Sharon is a remarkable woman and wife, a devoted mother of four and a cherished grandmother of two. Much of her free time away from her full time employment is dedicated to a cause close to her heart - the pursuit of offering a holistic and free education to nursery-aged children in Bakindik, with the ultimate goal of preparing them for the state-funded education system.

Sharon's passion for education is fueled by her unwavering belief that every child deserves a strong foundation, irrespective of their background, religion, or tribe. Her vision extends beyond traditional educational boundaries, aiming to foster a sense of belonging, importance, and love in every young mind she encounters.

As the driving force behind this educational initiative, Sharon strives to create an environment where children can flourish and discover their potential. She understands the significance of the formative years and is determined to provide an atmosphere that not only nurtures academic growth but also instills values of inclusivity, compassion, and acceptance.

Sharon's commitment to breaking down barriers goes beyond the classroom; she works tirelessly to create a community where diversity is celebrated, and every child feels valued. Her belief in the inherent worth of each individual, regardless of their cultural or religious background, sets her apart as a beacon of compassion and understanding.

In the heart of Bakindik, Sharon stands as a symbol of dedication to the well-being and future of the community's youngest members. Through her tireless efforts, she hopes to sow the seeds of a brighter future, one where every child carries with them a sense of belonging, knowing that they are cherished, they matter, and they are loved.

Me, I'm Colin, a devoted father of four and a beloved "papa" to two more. My life is a harmonious blend of family, philanthropy, and community building. While at home, I play the role of a dedicated family man, cherishing the joys and responsibilities that come with parenthood.

Beyond my domestic duties and my full  time job, I'm involved in humanitarian efforts, particularly in The Gambia. As project manager, I spearheaded the establishment of a remarkable educational infrastructure in the form of a new 3-classroom school. This facility not only focuses on academic advancement but also prioritises improved sanitation and access to running water, contributing to a healthier learning environment.

In addition to the educational initiative, I  project managed and set up a bakery where the local bread, tapalapa, is skillfully crafted. This endeavor not only supports the community's culinary needs but also acts as a source of income for the broader project. I also overseen the building of our poultry farm that ensures a sustainable supply of eggs to the school, promoting both nutrition and self-sufficiency.

Taking on the multifaceted role of a project manager, Sharon and I meticulously organise fundraising events to cover the ongoing expenses of our organisation. These funds are essential for sustaining teacher and staff wages, managing building projects, conducting maintenance work, and facilitating necessary shipments.

While Sharon, my wife, is focused on providing free education, I  bring my own unique perspective by emphasising the importance of childhood experiences. My commitment extends beyond academics to ensure that the schoolchildren enjoy a well-rounded childhood. Sharon and I both actively organise the provision of toys, recreational items, and sports equipment, aiming to fill the playground with laughter and witness the genuine smiles on the faces of the children.

The profound impact of support we receive from North West Cumbria and beyond is magnificently evident in our ability to carry out charitable work in the rural village of Bakindik in The Gambia. The resonant singing in the classrooms, the rhythmic flicking of pages, the persistent scratch of pencils on paper, and the contagious laughter echoing in the schoolyard all owe their existence to the unwavering backing we receive. In the grand tapestry of Siiboo, we are a humble but integral cog, diligently turning to contribute to the greater machinery of positive change. This support empowers us to extend our reach to the distant corners of Bakindik, where every pencil mark and every shared moment of joy becomes a testament to the transformative force of collective goodwill. As we navigate the delicate nuances of charitable work, the echoes of support from our communities near and far amplify our impact, reinforcing the idea that we are all interconnected components in a larger, benevolent endeavor.