The Gambia 2017

The Gambia

The Gambia

After a day’s work in her village’s community garden, this Wolof woman returns to her Mbantan Killing compound at dusk with the fruits of her labor carefully balanced on her head. But her work is not done—there is water to be drawn and carried in buckets from the village well before she can start preparing her family’s evening meal. The cabbage, okra, eggplant, bitter tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers she grows are important both as an addition to her family’s food bowls and as a source of income.
Keith Arnold ©2016 | PCV The Gambia 2012–2014 | Environment

Republic of The Gambia
Western Africa

Area 11.3K km²

Population 1.97M (174/km²)

Gov’t Republic

Capital Banjul (504K)

GCP/capita $1,700

Unemployment 7%

In poverty 48%

Life expectancy 65 yrs

Infant Mortality 64/K live births

HIV/AIDS 2%

Literacy 56%

Languages English, Mandinka, Wolof, Fula

Religions Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous 2%

Labor Force Agriculture 75%, industry 19%, services 6%

PCVs 1967–present CURRENT: 82; Education, Health, Environment; TTD: 1,745

Adult Books

The Sun Will Soon Shine
Sally Sadie Singhateh, 2004

Publisher: Publisher: Athena Press
Format: Paperback, 108 pages
ISBN-10: 1844011429
ISBN-13: 978-1844011421

Summary: For an intelligent, ambitious girl growing up in a Gambian village, life holds few tempting prospects. Marriage and motherhood, often forced, are the paths assigned to most. Nyima, too, is subject to this fate, as well as having to endure the health-endangering ongoing practice of genital mutilation. But Nyima is a heroine of immense courage, able to see beyond her situation, despite the bleakness of life. She makes it through her darkest hours, and emerges stronger on the other side—though permanently scarred by her ordeals. It is in education and work that Nyima finds her salvation, and begins to rebuild her life, and indeed be reborn. The question is, though, can she ever truly love or trust again? This is a moving and emphatic tale of a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her past and culture, and above all, the possibility of having a future to look forward to, no matter what the odds.

Kids' Books

One Plastic Bag
Miranda Paul, illust. Elizabeth Zunon, 2015, AGES 6–10

Publisher: Millbrook Picture Books
Format: Library Binding, 32 pages
ISBN-10: 1467716081
ISBN-13: 978-1467716086

Summary: Ceesay figures out how to turn discarded plastic bags into crocheted purses and transform her community.

REVIEWS:
School Library Journal: Gr 1–4—The simple format of this picture book belies the strength of its content, a story lovingly supported by charming collage illustrations. As a girl, Ceesay realized that the goats on which her village relied were dying because they were eating plastic bags. She also saw that people were tossing the used bags on the ground just as they had always thrown away their baskets when no longer useful—except the plastic bags, unlike the baskets, weren't biodegradable. So Ceesay figured out how to use crochet, a skill with which the villagers were already familiar, to make purses out of the plastic bags. Simple but lyrical text conveys this beautiful, thought-provoking tale of ecological awareness and recycling ("The basket tips. One fruit tumbles. Then two. Then ten."). An inspiring account.
—Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX

"The simple format of this picture book belies the strength of its content, a story lovingly supported by charming collage illustrations. As a girl, Ceesay realized that the goats on which her village relied were dying because they were eating plastic bags. She also saw that people were tossing the used bags on the ground just as they had always thrown away their baskets when no longer useful except the plastic bags, unlike the baskets, weren't biodegradable. So Ceesay figured out how to use crochet, a skill with which the villagers were already familiar, to make purses out of the plastic bags. Simple but lyrical text conveys this beautiful, thought-provoking tale of ecological awareness and recycling ('The basket tips. One fruit tumbles. Then two. Then ten.'). An inspiring account." starred, School Library Journal.

Films

Film: Welcome to the Smiling Coast: Living in the Gambian Ghetto
DOCUMENTARY
Director: Bas Ackermann , 2015
Languages: English
A documentary that captures the daily struggles of 15 youngsters moving within the informal economy of the Gambian tourism industry of sun, safari and sex. With the lure of a better future just around the corner, do they try their luck abroad or find their peace at home?

Music

Become a Member

Join RPCVs of Wisconsin - Madison to stay connected and support Peace Corps community initiatives! 

 

SIGN UP

       
 

  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison is a public charity registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. Its EIN is 39-1669348. It is also an affiliate group of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).


NPCA champions lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals by connecting, engaging and promoting its members and affiliate groups as they continue to make a difference in communities in the U.S. and abroad. NPCA is also dedicated to advocating for, contributing to, and supporting the betterment of the Peace Corps. Visit NPCA to learn more