The Gambia

A young student digs at the earth while others look on

Planting a vision for tomorrow

How do we grow the seeds of change?

Today’s Ideas, Tomorrow’s Trees

What comes first – planting trees or planting ideas? 

Children at the Gambia’s Sajuka Lower Basic School felt excited to take on the identity of Climate Change Agents this semester. They considered local environmental challenges before determining how their skills and actions could help reduce climate change impacts in the future. 

They appealed to Full-Circle Learning (FCL) for help in creating a more sustainable environment with a tree planting project. The collaboration enabled the students to extend their learning from the classroom to the community and expand the carbon sink. To prevent erosion and flooding, students planted over 50 seedlings along the riverbanks, including coconut palms and endangered mahogany trees. In the image below, the team gather under the insect net to tend the new trees.

Gambia’s lead facilitator, Alagie NDow, said, “Parents, teachers and students are all part of the project, and it’s a great moment to see the joy in the students as they begin their first service project in their own community.”

FCL’s school grants nurture each generation to address climate change, poverty, hunger, health disparities, gender inequities and conflict—and to become well-schooled in the understanding that “to serve is to lead and to lead is to serve.” 

Many thanks for following our summer series about the various ways schools use their FCL grants to improve lives in vulnerable communities.

As always, we extend a special thanks to those who contribute.

Thank you for supporting the leaders of the future.

Please click below to donate today.

Students walk carrying a banner

How to Unify A Divided Nation

Students spark global change as they dance their way to world peace

Two Countries Exchange Wisdom for Togetherness

World peace begins with the leaders of the future. This spring, a determined group of students in Zambia and the Gambia worked together across borders to bring peaceful change to their countries.

In both countries, political leaders have been using tribalist language to pit ethnic groups against each other. In Zambia, this rhetoric amplifies the tensions between the nation's 72 tribes, and similar divisions are growing among the 8 tribes that call the Gambia home.

Students at FCL schools in the two countries independently recognized the growing problem, setting a course towards peace by organizing marches, conflict resolution demonstrations, and celebrations of cultural diversity.

When the two groups of students realized their goals were the same, their schools began to study the habit-of-heart “Appreciation of Diversity.” They connected internationally, sharing global ideas to create local change.

In both nations, students walked in the streets and gave bold speeches, advocating for unity. In the Gambia, an open mic allowed passersby to give their own speeches in the marketplace, which meant the whole community could contribute to the spirit of togetherness illuminating the gathering of hundreds. In Zambia, some said they would take the messages back to their villages.

The schools in both countries held cultural festivals to celebrate the diverse heritage of the many tribal groups living side by side. While enjoying the poetry, drama, songs, and traditional dances, students and guests expressed gratitude that they finally felt they had a place where they all belonged. In Zambia, the 50 students’ performances reached a wide TV and radio audience, in addition to bringing joy to the guests physically in attendance. 

One Zambian grandmother, Mrs. Museteka, said in praise of the students’ work:

“We are one people. One nation. One human family.”

Help FCL’s students bring peace to our human family.

Please click below to donate today.

Students laying brick in a formation in a gardenStudents gathered holding a banner with a drawing of a buildingStudents planting a new treeStudents in class talking
Students at work on a long table lit above by woven straw covered lightsA teacher posing with a studentA teacher and her class of young children

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