Since 2014, Project Gambia has supported a school located in a very poor village called Madiana. With nearly 900 students and only 8 classrooms, some of the students attend in the morning and some in the afternoon. The school has very few resources and classes can have up to 60 students in them. Project Gambia has refurbished classrooms and shipped out desks and chairs donated by UK schools. When we visit it is fantastic to see the tables and chairs in the classrooms making such a difference to the education of the children here. School resources are also sent on a regular basis.
On one of our visits we were saddened to see that the nursery children were being taught in a classroom that consisted of corrugated sheet walls and a roof made of branches. Fifty children were being taught in a very small space with no tables or chairs and small pieces of wood to write on. In 2018, we launched the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign. Our aim was to raise enough money to build two new classrooms. In February 2020 the classroom blocks were completed and being used by Grade 3 and Grade 5 children.
Madiana Market Gardens
The village at Madiana is a very poor community struggling to survive. During one of our visits the villagers explained to us how they were struggling to feed their families as they had no land to farm to grow crops. With funding and support from Project Gambia and our Gambian partners, 3 areas of land were fenced off. These are now working market gardens. A variety of vegetables and fruit are being grown including onions, bananas, sorrel and tomatoes. One of these gardens is being farmed by an 83 year old woman from Mali, whilst the other 2 are farmed by widowers who, without the garden, would not have enough food. The market gardens not only provide food for the local community but also provide vegetables and herbs which are sold at the market. The money from these cash crops is used to pay for their children to attend school.