Supporters of a charity founded by an Aldingbourne couple enjoyed a tasty lunch at a Chichester restaurant.
The Masala Gate Indian restaurant, in St Pancras, marked its ninth birthday by hosting a lunch to raise funds for the Gambia Upcountry Development Charity (GUD).
Founded in April 2007 by David and Janet Underwood.
GUD works with upcountry villagers in the Gambia, West Africa, helping them to developing viable and sustainable education in areas where the need is greatest.
“We started about four years ago working in the remote village of Kanubeh, a place where there is little outside support and people live in poverty,” said Mr Underwood.
“It is a place where people rely totally on the land.
“It really is one of the poorest places in the world.”
Funds raised from the lunch will go towards helping fund a school the charity set up in Kanubeh in January 2010.
The school provides educational opportunities to some 110 children aged between four and seven.
With three big classrooms, three teachers, one head teacher and a caretaker the school costs around £400 a month to run – money raised by GUD volunteers.
Mr Underwood said: “When we first began working with the village our main aim was to help them become independent and self-sufficient.
“Our long-term vision is that the village will be able to fund and run the school.”
The lunch, which raised £600, was arranged at short notice after one of the restaurant’s proprietors, Murad, offered to cook the free meal for about 35 diners.
They paid £15 for a three-course meal and drinks.
Following their success in Kanubeh the charity is hoping to expand to help other isolated villages. For more information visit www.gambiaupcountry.com