Lloyds 2013 Report


by Alex Davies

After 14 months of planning, the third Lloyds Bank trip to Gunjur has just been completed. Twenty seven young people travelled out in three groups to spend a week each in Gunjur. Together they completed a three week long project to build a 200m long fence along one side of the TARUD Fayunku Community Vegetable Garden.

A new fence was needed to keep cattle, sheep and goats out of the garden which were getting in along the exposed path side.

There were four returning Lloyds volunteers from the 2012 trip and MBG Leaders David Johnson, Bakary Touray and Alex Davies.

This was the first experience of rural Africa and overseas volunteering for each group. The MBG project makes up the volunteering section of the Lloyds apprentice programme for individuals participating in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Each participant has to fundraise £345 for the trip and project as well funding their travel and any other personal costs.

Lloyds-laying-concrete-foundationsFor everyone the size of this project came as a shock. 200m is easy to say, but when you add in 35 degree heat, no shade, over 460 wheel barrow loads of hand mixed concrete and 92 iron fence posts it suddenly becomes a mammoth task.

Group one cleared the bush that had grown up around the old fence and digging the 92 post holes.

Group two made and positioned the iron posts in place and began constructing the concrete pillars.

Group three set about making the rest of the pillars and plastering them up to (near) perfection. The fence was topped off with barbed wire and a custom made double gate which can be closed at night to protect the gardens.

It's not all work and the group were able to enjoy the beauty and seclusion of Gunjur beach at the eco-lodges and some of the thrills of the dawn river trip, snake farm, crocodile pool, monkey park and traditional drumming sessions.

Lloyds-preparing-fence-post-foundationsStacy It was a once in a lifetime experience and incomparable to anything I have ever done. It was an amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Sean Life changing! It's made me appreciate the things I have and opened my eyes to another world. The timekeeping was amusing however, frustrating at times!

Omar My advice? Definitely seize this opportunity as this is the best thing I have experienced in life.
The 2014 trip is already underway and as before previous members of Lloyds trips will return to be part of the leadership team.