What did you do for Christmas? A teacher replies…

We often ask people What did you do for Christmas? Mycah recently asked Ms Sophie Jeffrey, Assistant Headteacher, St Chrysostom’s School about her Christmas. Mycah writes:

Just before the new term began Sophie Jeffrey returned to England after spending the Christmas holiday starting a school in a small rural village in Gambia, West Africa.

People coming out to greet the sisters when they first arrived, and singing a song of welcome.

People coming out to greet the sisters when they first arrived, and singing a song of welcome.

Four years ago Sophie and her sister Natanya were visiting the country when they met a couple who had been doing charitable work in Gambia for over 20 years.  The sisters were inspired by their generosity and began doing similar work during their Christmas holidays. “Christmas is about giving,” Miss Jeffrey says, “and this is a way that Natanya and I can give back with the help of our friends and family.”

During the year they appeal to friends and family for support and supplies to send to a village that they then go to during December.  This year they focused on fixing up an old building to use as a schoolhouse, distributing school uniforms, clothing and shoes, and packets of school supplies.

Miss Jeffrey with the gifts from Gambia

Miss Jeffrey with the gifts from Gambia

This year Sophie did not return empty handed as she had expected. The children and teens that she has met whilst in Gambia have sent her home with baobab fruits that are mixed with water to make a sweet vanilla flavoured drink (Pictured in her right hand) and long seed pods that when dried are used to making music (Pictured at bottom of photo) to share with her children and the rest of St Chrysostom’s School.

Miss Jeffery was moved by the generosity of the people she met in Gambia and the response that her children at St C’s School have had when she gave an assembly about her work there.  In the future she would love to develop a link from her classroom to the one she helped set up in Gambia.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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