The path from learners to learning leaders brought growth in The Gambia in 2016-17. After a brief training for the teachers and professors at ten schools in 2013, some participants requested mentorship from afar. As their projects came to fruition, they instinctively offered to solidify their connections with one another, even though the transportation challenges between schools and villages did not make it easy. At last they were ready to conduct their own training at the newly added building at Starfish International, in an effort spearheaded by Alagie Ndow, an educational leader at MyFarm, and supported by the young teachers at Starfish International, a girls’ education project founded by Yassin and David Sarr-Fox.
Yasdin and David Sarr-Fox visited their Full-Circle Learning family in California in 2017 with daughter Mam-Mary and son Iman.
Representatives of the original ten schools participated in the event. Fatouh Ndure reported “Alagie Ndow…gave an introduction about the workshop and an account of the Full Circle Learning educational journey on how he was able to master and integrate the habits of hearts into his projects, curriculums and service and implementing Full Circle Learning concept. It was awesome to come back together on the basis of Full Circle Learning concepts, most especially with the teachers who attended the 2013 Full Circle Learning workshop in Bakau.” Fatou described how the team effectively carried out the sessions, each one focusing on their specialties. At Starfish International, the conflict bridge had become a core feature of their leadership classes, for example, so the young women there mentored participants in this step, while Alagie taught an FCL approach to the integration of literacy, habits-of-heart and science. .
Fatou concluded, “I know there are more techniques from Full Circle Learning that we can continue to use to help ourselves, the students and the community members. It was a meaningful day for us all, and I am looking forward to more Full Circle Learning activities.”
Starfish, the first FCL-based project in the Gambia, began as a project for high-school age girls to mentor younger girls, learn entrepreneurial skills and operate a community library. It has now expanded to include a girls’ college, with 11 college classes offered this past year, and new dormitories available for guest presenters.
Another participant, Solid Foundation School, will send representative Funmilayo Aberejesu to the US for additional Full-Circle Learning training in the summer.