Ten pupils from Marlborough have returned home after two weeks spent working alongside local partners in Gunjur in The Gambia.
The nine month programme which is organised by the charity Thriving Through Venture, focuses on developing young people’s resilience and wellbeing through community based projects in Marlborough and in Gunjur.
Starting in January, the group was split into three teams, and each team worked on a project, writing, photography or business. It was followed by a two week trip to the Gambia where they shared their work with the locals.
Jackie Beere OBE, former Headteacher, author and trainer with TTV said: “Given the opportunity to move outside their comfort zone and get in touch with their real values really helps students know themselves and start their life journey with renewed purpose and confidence.”
In Gunjur, an almost exclusively Muslim community, the team were each partnered up with a Gambian of the same gender, and relationships developed within the groups.
The writing and photography teams repeated what they had done in Marlborough, interviewing and photographing key people in the community, including the Chief, the Imam and the Head of the Women’s organisations.
The Gambian partners also discovered new and important information about these highly respected people, as well as learning how to use a camera and develop their written expression.
The business team spent time in mango orchards with the farmers, and in meetings with local and national organisations in Gunjur. They learnt about the current problems facing the industry.