Apr 29, 2010, 1:51 PM
The link between Gunjur and Marlborough started back in 1982 and since then both communities have shared many things in common.
Speaking in an interview with The Point newspaper on the purpose of the visit, the founder of the link, Dr Nick Maurice (OBE), said the visit is to explore with people in Gunjur the educational potential that Gunjur has to offer young people from Marlborough.
According to him, since 1985, groups of young people from St John’s School in Marlborough and Marlborough College have been visiting Gunjur usually for one month, every alternate year.
“These visits have involved the young people concerned in undertaking considerable fundraising in the UK before travelling to Gunjur and then, while in Gunjur, getting involved with, and at the local people in (usually) a construction project paid for by the young people through request of their fundraising efforts.”
The proceeds of their fundraising, Nick added, have gone into a five classroom block at the Lower Basic School, a fence around a 12 acre orchard of mango trees, a carpentry workshop, a library, the repair and reconstruction of classrooms at the Islamic school, a fence around the Fayunku women’s vegetable garden and a market building in the centre of Gunjur.
He stated: “While these projects have been intrinsically valuable to the community and have given those people that have worked on them the feeling that they have made a valuable contribution to the community of Gunjur, the young people involved would be the first to say that what they gave was as nothing as to what they received in terms of their own personal development through living in Gunjur, gaining an understanding of a very different faith and culture and making close friends with people in the Gunjur community.”
The visit, led by Caroline Harmer of the Wiltshire Global Education Centre, the educational wing in MBG, and Nick Maurice, Director of MBG, is expected to bring two teachers from Marlborough College, Alys Langdale and David Amitage, and three from St John’s Academy, Lesley Spencer, Sam Shields and Jamie Turnbull, to explore with leaders and others in the community what the educational opportunities are that Gunjur and The Gambia have to offer.
The group is also being accompanied by Sarah Adams, a teacher from Peat Moor School in Swindon, which is linked to Pirang Basic Primary School.