Rotarians in Ellesmere and Whitchurch are helping change the lives of African children through their work with a local charity.

The two clubs teamed up to work with the small educational charity 'Goal for The Gambia' – which supports three schools, more than 1,000 youngsters and other community projects – in a poverty stricken rural farming area.

The latest project – a new £3,000 toilet block at the Ba Ebrima Saidy school – has been funded by a partnership between Ellesmere and Whitchurch Rotary Clubs, match funded by the Rotary Foundation.

The rotary clubs stepped in to help pay for structural improvements to school classrooms in the village of Kitty.

And that relationship now includes the charity's own, purpose-built Batangba Nursery school at Somita and the Ba Ebrima Saidy Islamic School in Sanyang.

Whitchurch Rotarian John Holland and his wife Kate first went there seven years ago, on a wildlife holiday, and saw heartbreaking conditions in local schools.

"We saw children just standing around classroom walls because there was nothing for them to sit on," said Kate. "And we've seen others using planks of wood balanced between breeze blocks."

When they got home they looked for a charity that might help - and discovered 'Goal for The Gambia'.

"When we saw what they were coping with I could have cried," added Kate. "It was just pitiful.

"Toilet facilities for more than 400 children amounted to two holes in the ground surrounded by metal sheeting."

The new toilet block will now give six private toilet rooms for girls, boys and school staff.

Local people worked as labourers, to keep building costs down, and made their own breeze blocks.

"It's amazing what can be done so quickly," added Whitchurch Rotary president Ian Fawcett.

"It's just a question of having the money.

"But it's a poor area and, although the people were keen to help themselves, they were struggling – so they deserve every bit of support we can give."