Ruth Wilson was based in Banjul, The Gambia, 2009 - 2012, where she worked in two schools: the Methodist Special School (for children with special needs) and the Albion Lower Basic School. Ruth was able to share her experience of educational management and administration with the Principal, staff and School Board of Methodist Special School, and this led to the school re-examining its practices and sought ways to improve and develop.
The school now has a fully functioning computer room following the arrival of the container from the Container Ministry last December and their gift of eight computers and computer equipment. I was moved by the gratitude of the school for the computers - one teacher told me, 'When the computers arrived in school we danced and danced!'Ruth Wilson
Q & A's with Ruth
The greatest challenge...
For me the greatest challenge has been leaving the familiarity and security of my home and work in Northern Ireland and saying goodbye to my friends and family so that I could answer God's call on my life to serve as a mission partner. On my arrival here in January 2009 I then started the task of settling into a new and different environment, learning about its culture and developing positive relationships with those people I would live alongside and work with.
The impact I have made...
I have been able to share my experience of educational management and administration with the Principal, staff and School Board of Methodist Special School resulting in opportunities for the school to examine its current practices and seek ways to improve and develop in the future. At Albion School I have been responsible for creating and delivering a computer programme for Grade 4 to 6 pupils and also providing training for the teaching staff. I work closely in The Gambia with the Education Secretariat (of the Methodist Church) sharing my knowledge and experience of education and together we work towards enhancing the educational provision available in Methodist Schools in The Gambia. Just recently we took delivery of a container from the Container Ministry of the Irish Methodist Church (which I helped organise and co-ordinate). The distribution of the much needed educational resources and materials will help enhance the learning experiences of children and young people within Methodist schools.
How God is guiding me....
I believe God guides me on a daily basis as I spend time with Him as I read His Word and pray. Also I have learned to always be ready to listen to God as I involve myself with my work and meeting people on a number of occasions I have experienced God prompting me to act on 'seeds' he has planted in my mind. An example of this is when I became involved with acquiring computers for the Methodist School at Marakissa following a simple conversation I had with the Principal.
What has surprised me the most...
I have been blessed and humbled by the generosity of the people I live with and those I meet as I move around within the Gambia. Despite the limited material resources of some people here I am always warmly invited into their homes and they share what they have with me. On a number of occasions I have had my taxi fare paid for me by strangers I have shared the taxi with, just so that they could thank me for coming to The Gambia to help its people.