Nopa Nordic supports the efforts of The Anne Grethe School for children and families in Gambia

Dec 20, 2023

Starting in 2006, a group of Danish volunteers has established a school for 390 students in Gambia. We are pleased to support the school by covering the expenses for breakfast and lunch for all students, preventive hygiene measures, and an evening school for the mothers of the students.

– This is a tremendous, tremendous, tremendous help for us. Nopa Nordic’s donation covers a significant portion of our overall budget, allowing us to develop the school to play a larger and more active role in the local community, says Birgitte Lind Nielsen, Chairperson of the Anne Grethe School.

At Nopa Nordic, we are driven by a passion to make a positive difference in the world through our products. We love meeting others who share a similar passion.

This includes our many excellent colleagues. It includes customers and partners. And it includes the volunteers behind the Anne Grethe School in Gambia – such as Chairperson Birgitte Lind Nielsen, quoted above.

For these reasons, we have recently supported the Anne Grethe School with both a one-time donation and a fixed annual amount for the coming years.

– We are truly impressed by the Anne Grethe School. It is fantastic what has been built, and it is even more amazing that it has been achieved on a voluntary basis, states Mette Kolling Rothmann, CCO of Nopa Nordic, and continues:

– Similar to Nopa Nordic, the Anne Grethe School has a strong focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and on how what we do creates ripples. It is not just about the school but also about the local community, making our decision to support very straightforward.

The funds go towards activities, not administration.

In less than 20 years, the people behind the Anne Grethe School have created a school that now accommodates 390 students, providing education from nursery school to 9th grade.

In a country where the average adult has only attended school for 4.6 years, compared to 13 years in Denmark, this makes a difference. It affects the students, their families, and the village.

And all of this is based on voluntary work, the opportunity to sponsor a child, and support like what we at Nopa Nordic now provide – along with skilled employees at the school in West Africa.

– We chose the Anne Grethe School because we were concerned about the impact of other charity projects, where a significant portion of the raised funds goes to administration in Denmark and abroad. At the Anne Grethe School, all the money goes directly to the specific activities we support, confirms Henrik Karup Jørgensen, CEO of Nopa Nordic.

We support food, hygiene, and an evening school

Our support goes to three very specific projects.

Firstly, we have agreed to fully finance the annual cost of breakfast and lunch for all the school’s students, also in the coming years.

Secondly, we support preventive measures regarding hand hygiene, toilet facilities, oral hygiene, and kitchen hygiene.

Lastly, we provide funds to establish an evening school for the mothers of the students, where they learn to sew, for example, school uniforms and reusable menstrual pads.

– These are three projects that can have a significant impact on each individual student. You can’t learn anything if you’re hungry. You can’t learn if you’re sick. And you also can’t learn if you have menstruation and are forced to stay home because you don’t have menstrual pads, Mette Kolling Rothmann emphasizes, noting that the evening school is also crucial for the mothers themselves.

New opportunities for the Anne Grethe School

The value of the evening school for the mothers is affirmed by Peter Nielsen, a board member of the Anne Grethe School. In 2011, Peter, together with his wife Thine, brother Jens, and sister-in-law Birgitte, took over the Anne Grethe School from its founder, Anne Grethe Madsen.

– Many of the women have tough lives, and the opportunity to leave home and try something different can develop them in new directions and simply be a break in their everyday lives, says Peter Nielsen, while Board Chair Birgitte Lind Nielsen emphasizes the significance of Nopa Nordic’s support for the school:

– Until now, the expense for school meals has been covered by funds from those sponsoring a child at the school. Now, we have both released funds for other projects and ensured, for example, that chicken or beef can be on the menu once a week, as many in Gambia have insufficient protein in their diet. It’s wonderful to do this without seeking extra funds.

Employee created the contact

The connection with the Anne Grethe School was established through one of Nopa Nordic’s employees, strategic purchaser Anne-Mette Lee Hjorth.

Her sister-in-law manages a dental project in Gambia and has been associated with the Anne Grethe School for several years. Anne-Mette herself sponsors a child at the school and has visited the school multiple times, most recently in October 2023 (from which the pictures on this page are taken).

– I’m naturally thrilled that my workplace wants to support something I also support. It really means something, says Anne-Mette Lee Hjorth, who has witnessed firsthand the impact of the efforts in Gambia.

Because it’s not necessarily a choice between the Anne Grethe School and another school in the city. It’s a choice between the Anne Grethe School or no school at all.

Facts about the Anne Grethe School

• The Anne Grethe School is a private school in the city of Gunjur in Gambia.
• It’s run by volunteers in Denmark, and attendance is free for students.
• The Anne Grethe School collaborates with the Danish school Hjørring Private Realskole, which ensures that the school meets educational goals.
• Established by Anne Grethe Madsen in 2006, the initial school had space for 60-70 students.
• In 2011, the school expanded to accommodate around 130 students, and that same year, Anne Grethe Madsen gifted the school to brothers Jens and Peter Nielsen, who had become involved in the project.
• In 2013, the ownership of the Anne Grethe School was transformed into an association.
• In 2014-15, the school expanded once more, accommodating 300 students.
• In 2018, the Anne Grethe School initiated another expansion, and today, it accommodates 390 students, covering education from Nursery School to 9th grade.

Learn more at (in Danish)

Written By admin

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