We had a busy few days and the project has really started right now. We visited a bunch of places, gained a lot of information and interviewed a lot of people. We again met some interesting and inspiring people. This time not only in the Gambia, but also in the neighbour country Senegal.
Lets first start with our visit to our first skill center Presentation Girls' Vocational School (PGVS). The skill center is located in Banjul and it is a catholic all girls school. Four days we traveled back and forward between Tanji and Banjul, which is an one hour drive. The school is runned by sister Rosine, a wonderful woman who dedicated her life to her religion. The school gave us an incredible warm welcome. The first two days we followed some classes and conducted some interviews. The third day was a special day, because there was a celebration for the renovation of the school. The teachers gave us the same fabric as they were wearing and we let the tailor at Kairoh garden make clothes for us. We were part of the family, went on a lot of pictures and of course danced african style! The last day, monday, we conducted some more interviews and said goodbye to the school (for now). We hope to visit them soon again!
Besides visiting the school we did a lot of other valuable things for our information gathering phase of the project. First we went to NAQAA, which is a organisation that registrates skills centers and certifies teachers. They agreed to share information with us, which will be of great help for our research. Second we went to the VSG meeting, of which Barbara is the secretary. We gained some really usefull contact there, like a contact with PUM. Today we had an entrepreneurship workshop with them. We as well walked around Tanji to interview a few tailors. During this day we met a bunch of very interesting people.
Last but not least we went to a skill center for a-litteral girls in Senegal. It was a three hours drive, but it was definitely worth it. We learned a lot from the way the school works and they are much further than the Gambia in integrating entrepreneurship. It was impressive to see that two countries so close to each other can differ so much!
The next few days we will start and work on the course manual for our entrepreneurship workshop. We still have to visit two skills centers that are potential choises for the workshop location. Monday, tuesday and wednesday we will visit the first and the week after we will visit the second. Next to working on the manual we will keep typing out all the interviews and summarize all the information we already gained from our visits to work on our research report!
We wish you all a lovely day,
The Mala Team