2016 summer group at end of projectThe 2016 Summer Group complete a pre-school building.

In 1982 MBG established a link with the Muslim fishing community of Gunjur in The Gambia, West Africa, and since then there has been a steady flow of over 2000 people between Marlborough and Gunjur.

MBG traditionally looks to place volunteers with host families and still does this with adult volunteers.  Students now stay in the village community centre at the heart of the community.  We believe that it is this level of cultural embedding that is fundamental to gaining a deeper understanding of our different cultures and communities.

MBG Supports Links

  • Groups of sixth form students from St John's Academy and Marlborough College for three week placements in Gunjur
  • Adult groups from local businesses

Anita Bew has been coordinating link exchanges between the UK and The Gambia for over 30 years and Alex Davies has supported trips since 2004. We have developed some very strong relationships with a wide range of people in the Gunjur community. Since 2017 we have worked with Venture Force, a small professional expedition provider who match our charitable views and ambitions, who provide all of the logistics, health and safety and professional leaders.  Over 37 Years of experience and a strong and dedicated team both here in the UK and in The Gambia ensure that your group trip in Gunjur will be a lifetime experience that will continue to benefit your personal and professional development.

MBG works closely with NGO TARUD (Trust Agency for Rural Development) which manages a number of development projects in Gunjur including pre-school education, health education, water and sanitation, women's literacy, micro-credit, malaria eradication and women's livelihoods. Voluntary work placements or community projects will either be overseen by TARUD or the Gunjur Community Link (GCL) depending on what project or you decide to do.

The Gunjur Community Link (GCL) is responsible for the overall hosting of students and volunteers during their stay in the village and gathers the volunteers from around the village to support the group projects.  The GCL will often run projects on behalf of the Gunjur community.  The Embassy and the Ambassador in Banjul are fully aware of our project and give us their full support. 

Local experts in the Gunjur Community Link

Essa SumarehEssa Sumareh (28) has been involved with the Community Link since 2003 and has held a formal Public Relations Officer role since 2016. Essa has supported numerous student and adult groups and individuals enjoy their time in Gunjur. Essa’s family is originally from Mali and moved to Gunjur in the 1920’s. Essa completed his primary and secondary education in Gunjur and though his good grades he studied in Banjul Senior School for three years and was then awarded a scholarship to the West African Insurance Institute. Essa works with Qcell, a telecom’s company, in a customer care centre located on the main road through Gunjur. “My hobby is football, music, dancing and my favourite football club is Manchester United, the greatest football club in the world!”

lamin Bojang2Lamin (Wiki) Bojang (30), also known as ‘tall Lamin’, has been involved in the link since the age of 10 and more formally from 2003 supporting visiting groups. He has been a chaperone to several professional education trips and conferences in the area and supported business trips since 2011. Lamin is very relaxed and brings a sense of calm to everyone around him, his favourite phrase is “A lama lama”, it’s nice to be nice. Lamin is a musician and manages a drumming band. He lives at a compound near Gunjur beach and hosts a drumming night for groups who travel to Gunjur.

Bouba TourayBouba D. Touray is the Liaison Officer of the Gunjur Community Link (GCL). He participates in setting up the community projects in consultation with the community and GCL. Bouba manages the finances, skilled professionals, volunteers and resources for the projects as they happen and organises the trip logistics with the help of other volunteers Ousman, Lamin and Essa. Bouba studied in Banjul and then completed an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, Maryland, USA and a BSc in Computer Network Management, Southampton Solent University, UK. Bouba now works full time as Head of IT at Banjul International Airport.

Ousman TourayMr. Ousman Touray is the current Chairperson of the Gunjur Community Link and he also doubles as the Chairperson of the Gunjur Youth Business and Development Programme (GYBDP), the micro-finance initiative financed and supported by SJP since 2014. He also served as the overall Head Supervisor of all the activities of the GCL and acts as the interface between the community of Gunjur and the GCL. Ousman works as a Senior Budgeting Officer and Risk Assessment Officer under the planning directorate at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education. Ousman was born in Gunjur, attended Gunjur primary school and completed his higher education at St. Peter's Technical High School in Lamin, a town approximately 50km from Gunjur.