GTTI students pass with flying colours

Congratulations to the group of eight students who have all passed their first year finals at the Gambia Technical Training Institute in Serrekunda. These are the first wave of students to benefit from the Business Entrepreneur Scheme launched in 2014.

Buba Touray, the business programme manager reports:

"We have finally confirmed from the Authority at Gambia Technical Training Institute that all our eight continuing sponsored Students, have successfully passed their final examination with a flying colours. As results all of them have now been promoted to the advance levels. Following receiving their final examination results and their official invoices for the new academics year, I am totally impressed with their level of performance and also their punctuality and regularity is very encouraging. In conclusion, I think they should be commended for their hard work, commitment and dedication for producing an excellence results, and also the credit goes to MBG for supporting these students with full tuition fees and the travel allowances, which of course is making a huge different in their lives."

September 2015


Global Spotlight Winners


Well we say it every year but this competition just gets hotter and the children never fail to amaze us; 7th July saw the final of Global Spotlight competition at The Platform in Swindon.

This year, five teams gave inspiring presentations in front of an audience, which included dance, raps, plays, songs, and animations on themes of Climate Change, Fairtrade, Children's Rights, Industry and Animal Extinction. The standard was incredibly high and the judges felt that the maturity that all teams displayed in response to some rigorous questioning was impressive. In the end, it was the team from Westlea Primary, with their presentation on Children's Rights who won the day. Eleven lucky children and their teacher will be visiting their MP, Robert Buckland on 15 July in the Houses of Parliament, and will be asking him what he can do as an MP to promote the Rights of the Child.

Read more: Global Spotlight Winners

The Independent - Letters: The causes of 'radicalised' Islam

Read Nick Maurice's letter, published this week in The Independent. Letters: The causes of 'radicalised' Islam

"Your editorial of 11 June points to the threat posed to Cameroon by the Boko Haram insurgency. As you say "only regional governments can finally defeat the grisly Boko Haram".

From our 33 years of involvement round the corner in The Gambia we have learnt an important lesson.

In common with most international development agencies and governments the focus of our work with our predominantly Muslim partners has been on women's empowerment through education and literacy programmes, loans for small businesses and support for traditional income-generating activities such as vegetable gardening, tie and dye and hairdressing.

Three years ago it became apparent to Gambian colleagues and ourselves that we have a major problem, namely unemployment and disaffection among young men.

We estimate that only 15 per cent of men are in employment five years after leaving school. Gambian friends tell us that there is an increase in drug taking. They express real concern that this group of disaffected youth without purpose in life and whose social standing, as they see it, has been undermined by the change in the gender balance, will be targeted by Islamists, who will give them a purpose, albeit a malevolent one.

It raises the question in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria. Has our focus on women's development upset traditional social norms and been to the detriment of young men. Surely we must redress the balance. Yes, let's absolutely discuss the rights of women, but we must engage men in that discussion and move forward together."

Dr Nick Maurice
Director, The Marlborough Brandt Group
Marlborough, Wiltshire