We are blessed to work with some amazing women – role models and leaders – in Morocco, South Africa ,Cambodia and The Gambia. International Women’s Day was last week – but we don’t apologise for being late! – because every day is women’s day here at people and places
In this post we have chosen to focus on a programme we work with in The Gambia – but wherever you choose to volunteer with us – be assured the projects we work with have women’s empowerment right up there as a priority.
Our programme in The Gambia – No Woman Left Behind – supports and empowers previously exploited women – women who, given the chance, will become role models and leaders – a programme that has, due to the challenges the world faces at the moment, lost its funding.
A huge Thankyou to volunteer, Sharon, who is raising funds to try to replace that loss!
She would really appreciate your support if you are able to find a few pounds
The young women themselves are fundraising over the next couple of months by selling their produce whenever they have funds to buy ingredients
Here’s an extract from an article about travel philanthropy. You can read the whole article here
“The Gambia is launching a new course, “No Woman Left Behind”, for young women who have been exploited, trafficked or treated badly at the hands of others. Fatou’s story speaks for all
“I was trafficked to Lebanon with the expectation that I was going to get a good job there. However, it was a different thing because when I got there I was working as a housemaid and a nanny, in which, I struggled so hard and it was so difficult for 3 years. My contract was supposed to end in 3 years but I escaped after the first year because I worked from 7am to 2am and I was treated inhumanely. When this project came my way, I was very happy to full fill my dreams because it’s a scholarship. The project, No Woman Left Behind, fulfilled my dream to have something I always wanted to do in life and I will have a skill and be certificated at the end of the project. The project also helped me to form an association to help other girls who returned back to the Gambia after being trafficked.”
The course has been running successfully for a year, funded by an international donor agency without local ties, their priorities have changed. The tourism industry is weak after a very long period behind closed borders as a defence against Covid.
Students learn skills in cooking, pastry, food processing and small business skills together with an understanding of their human rights.
The first year was an outstanding success – the students have learnt cooking, hygiene and patisserie skills and benefitted from the mentoring of many Gambian women involved in the hospitality industry – next year the course will develop a greater understanding of the skills needed to start a business – survive and then thrive.
The goal is to ensure that they will learn skills and resilience techniques so that they and their children will not be exploited in the future.
The course is an experiential learning – learning by doing – course – so we need lots of practical exercises and in the future ITTOG, the college running this programme, plan to support the students starting their own micro-enterprises by enabling them to use college facilities and resources – there is already an equipped kitchen provided for the first phase of the project. This 8-week course for 30 women will cost £4000. This course will give these women a real chance to learn new skills, to help them make their own way in life and to become self-reliant for themselves and their children.
Can you help with a donation or even a regular donation to help us meet our initial target?
If you can then please donate here.
people and places is looking for volunteers to help contribute to course content and deliver some of that course content – rest assured if you feel you do not have presentation or classroom skills your help in creating course content – be it in country or through our e-volunteer programme – will be invaluable.”
If you would like to learn more about how you could support this programme