Dear Supporters of The Bansang Swiss Project,
This week, we would like to share with you the tale of our first trip up to Bansang, when we finally met our key local partners and the community, thus helping us evaluate the challenges and define project priorities.
As per our plan, we drove up to Bansang from Kombo to establish relations with key community members of the region, active in education as well as the local administration. Moving away from the coastal area and getting closer to the region, we were remarking the wonderful change of scenery and climate - it was a much milder and cooler - January Upriver.
For those not familiar with the region, Bansang sits close to the river Gambia, with its beautiful hilly scenery - a real beauty. This rural area is blessed by its surroundings as well as its people. One of the first people we arranged to meet here was headmaster Mr Faal, who became our main partner on the ground. He made it his mission to accompany us on visits to all the different schools of the region, helping us evaluate infrastructure solidity as well as resources available for educational activities. We also met Mr. Mba Kanyi, the SMC Chairman of Bansang Upper Basic School. On our way to visit the schools we stopped off at the amazing Bansang Hospital where we met the CEO l - Mr. Baba Jeng, and we were also lucky to meet the elders of the community, most of all the illustrious village chief of Bansang, Alkalo Alhagie Kebba Kora, during our visit and tour of the Bansang Hospital. The Bansang ward councillor Mr. Nuhu Jawara took us around on a visit of the hospital, and we met Mrs Isatou Ndimbalan, the Chief Accountant of Bansang Hospital.
With a variety of memorable moments of the trip to pick from, key ones were without a doubt the wonderful welcome and singing by the Njoren teacher Mr. Sallah and students, as well as the amazing welcome by the children from the Dobang Kunda school and their brilliant Headmaster Mr. Alagi Kora, which we also visited with Mrs. Amie Gai Ceesay (wife of Headmaster Mr. Ismaila Ceesay).
Dobang Kunda School arrival - part 1
Dobang Kunda School arrival - part 2
Our first visit away from town was to Njoren, a rural village with no electricity and running water.
Despite the wear of time on infrastructure, the enthusiasm of the teacher and students present that day in the local school was the confirmation of the strength of a community which moves for education and has offered the region countless exemplary students, doctors and beyond. Seeing the efforts launched in renovating teacher accomodation, we joined the honourable community project of renovating and continuing the building of the staff quarters using the local contractor Mr. Haruna to complete the building. We visited Daru Lower basic school, Bansang Lower Basic School, Dobang Kunda Lower Basic School, Bansang Upper Basic and Bansang Senior Secondary School.
Our visit helped us quantify precisely at least what these 6 schools need- we shall do our best to collaborate with the communities and together tackle the various needs.
The Bansang Swiss Project Team