A SCHOOL founder felt like a “proud father” when a student who he has helped support for the past 10 years qualified as a barrister.

Bob Munden Jones, who lives with his partner Evie in Rhuddlan, has been going to Gambia for about 19 years.

He built a school in Lamin Daranka, near to the airport.

In February, Bob was able to attend a ceremony in Banjul, the capital city of the Gambia, to mark Omsin Saine being called to the Bar.

Bob, a former headteacher of Trelawnyd Primary School, had met Omsin when he was aged 12.

He made friends with a family in Gambia 10 years ago. Omsin's mother invited Bob to her school to teach and he quickly became a friend of the family.

Omsin was doing well in school and wanted to study law at university, but fees were a problem.

Bob promised to help “if necessary” and kept his promise after the death of Omsin's mother.

Bob said: “Omsin's mother died just after he commenced his studies. I agreed to help with his fees. Sadly she passed away and I fulfilled my promise.

“After obtaining his law degree, Omsin managed to get on the barrister course which he successfully completed along with other students from many countries in Africa.

“He was called to the Bar on February 4, and it was with great pride and pleasure I was able to attend the ceremony. He has never ceased to express his attitude to Evie and myself, making the whole experience for us worthwhile.”

Bob’s school has 145 children from three to seven years. He has visited Gambia about 35 times.

Omsin is the eldest of four children. When Bob met him, Omsin's stepfather Musa was an education officer employed by the government to oversee a number of schools.

Bob met his stepfather, who also had another wife and family, as their religion permits.

He met the family through Musa. Omsin mother invited her to school to teach, and from there he became a friend of the family.

Omsin attended Banjul university and travelled from home each day.

Bob, who makes four-week visits to Gambia twice a year, said: “Omsin successfully completed his Law Degree and was accepted on the barrister course where he was one of the youngest students. There were 55 students from 8 different countries on the course with ages from 23 to 50 plus.

“I was delighted when I heard he had been successful but I knew he had been very conscientious with his studies.

“It was an emotional day for all families who attended the calling to the Bar ceremony as they had lived the course with their loved ones. It made me feel like a very proud father as I know that without my support it would have been impossible.”

Last April, Omsin was married to a school friend who was in in Morocco following a nursing degree scholarship. They were not allowed to live as man and wife he had completed his exams.

Omsin is now head of the legal department of Taf, the largest building company in Gambia.