Work Placements in Gunjur

school-children
Since 1984 we have sent volunteers to work alongside teachers in the Upper Basic School or to work with development projects for periods of four weeks to a year. At the same time people from Gunjur come to Marlborough to gain professional development in a range of skills. 

Due to recent developments within UK Borders Agency we are no longer able to obtain visas for young Gambians to come to Marlborough, but we hope that there will still be opportunities for mature professionals from The Gambia to come to the UK for study/work placements.

All volunteers, whether they are from UK or from The Gambia, live with families in their homes and compounds and are thus immersed in the life of the community. Our volunteers find that their experience in Gunjur is one that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Most have kept in contact with friends in Gunjur and some have gone into careers in international development.

How long do you go for?

We try to be as adaptable as possible and will mould a volunteering opportunity to the requirements of both the volunteer and the needs of the community. We request that volunteers spend a minimum of three months in Gunjur as this length of time significantly contributes more to the community of Gunjur and its surrounding areas.

What work might you do?

Phoebe TeachingVolunteers may work as teaching assistants in the Upper Basic School, as medical assistants in the health centre or as supporters to TARUD and its development programme. The work you do depends largely on the skills you have to offer and the ability of the school, health centre or project to accommodate those skills.

There may be an opportunity to teach in the Lower Basic School (7-13 year olds) or the Preschool (3-7 year olds).

TARUD is a small NGO in Gunjur and there is often help needed to build the capacity of the organisation in e.g. IT skills, Accountancy or Administration.

We work with TARUD and the Gunjur Community Link to find the best opening for you and draw up a job specification for you. There is no upper age limit for a volunteer, but you must be over 18 years old and in good health.

What is it like to live there?

compoundYou will have your own room in a family compound. These are built of concrete blocks with a corrugated roof.

Your family may consist of several brothers and their wives and families, they will look after you as if you are one of their family, you will eat traditional food of fish and rice with sometimes vegetable and a spicy sauce.

You may fetch your water from the well, wash from a bucket, and your toilet will be a pit latrine. Construction is underway for waterpipes and it is expected that running water will reach Gunjur in the near future. Electricity has recently arrived in Gunjur, so now some homes have electricity. Other compounds will have a generator active during the evening. There is a telephone exchange in the village where there is a fax machine and internet café. Mobile phones can be used for text messages and you can buy a local sim card for local calls. These cost D50 each. 

What support do volunteers receive?

The Gunjur Community Link Committee are responsible for the day to day care of our volunteers and are the people volunteers refer to if they have any problems.

The programme director of TARUD Sandang Bojang is also on hand to give advice and support.

The British High Commission in Fajara 40 miles away is also fully aware of our programme and gives it their full support.

How much does it cost?

This depends on the length of your stay and the time of year at which you go to The Gambia. Flight costs vary from £300 - £700 depending on the time of year that you travel. MBG charges £320 for a 3 month and longer stay, this includes a comprehensive induction session by staff and volunteers of MBG and Wiltshire Global Education Centre, information booklets, DBS check (mandatory for all visitors), a debriefing session on return and becoming a 'friend' of MBG for one year. There is an £30 administration fee for the GCL and TARUD, which includes airport transfers.

You will pay £80 per month for your accommodation which will consist of a living room, bedroom and your own private washing area and latrine. The women in your compound will give you three meals a day and will do your washing.

MBG does not make a profit from our volunteer programme, we simply cover expenses.

We can give you advice on sponsorship and how to raise the money yourself. 

What are the benefits?

  • Life changing experience that develops valuable life skills
  • Gives you an advantage with your university applications
  • Opportunity to practice a profession (eg teaching) that you would need qualifications to do so in the UK
  • Interested in career in International Development – unique insight & first hand experience of living with a host family
  • Higher education research opportunities to return to Gunjur as part of your degree
  • Prepares you for the future – gives you the edge in job interviews
  • Develop soft skills in communication, leadership & organization
  • Chance to step out of your comfort zone
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Builds confidence
  • Voluntary roles look great on CV

What training do you receive?

We provide training approximately one month before your departure. This will include a session with staff from our global education team the Wiltshire Global Education Centre (WGEC). We will discuss the cultural differences (Gunjur being an Islamic community), you will receive information booklets and we will also arrange for you to meet returned volunteers who have had recent first-hand experience, and some young Gambians living in UK.

You will also receive an induction when you arrive in Gunjur.

On your return there will be a debriefing session with staff from MBG and we will require a report.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in volunteering please write a covering email and CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about who you are and what you want to do and MBG will put you in contact with Anita Bew, the person responsible for the link exchange programme.

Volunteer Feedback

Read St John's Academy school leaver Duncan Lorrain's blog There and Back - Duncan's Gap Year 2015.

Volunteer Alex Rodmart, currently studying medicine, spent 3 months in Gunjur during summer 2013, teaching maths. Read about Alex's experiences in our blog My Time in Gunjur.

 Occupational Therapist Maryanne Cook spent a month in Gunjur January 2014. Read about Maryanne's experiences on this return trip to The Gambia.

MBG Visitor Information Booklet

Visiting Gunjur in The Gambia Booklet 2015 - 2016