The Gambia

We currently operate in The Gambia with expansion planned for the future.

  • The Gambia is ranked 174 out of 189 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI), 2018.
  • Mean years of schooling is 3.5 years (4.7 years in Sub-Saharan Africa and 12.9 in the UK)
  • Adult literacy rate is 42% (ages 15 and older)
  • Out of 69% of children starting school, only 17% achieve a pass in mathematics indicating low quality of teaching
  • Girls from the rural parts have only 1% chance of finishing Primary School as opposed to 43% of boys in the urban areas indicating huge disparities among the regions
  • 55.3% of population live in multidimensional poverty (including  poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, violence)
  • Over 40% of population still do not have access to sanitation
  • 20% of children between the age of 5 and 14 are engaged in child labour

Nianja District

Though there are no official accounts to confirm the claim, Nianija is often said to be the poorest and least developed district in The Gambia.

Located in the Central River Region of The Gambia in the North Bank, the district has a population of over 8500 habitants across 33 villages. 

Our researchers have identified hundreds of children across the district who do not attend school- some due to the lack of appropriate quality provision, others due to poverty, believes and cultural norms, such as early marriage and child labour.
For others, geographical proximity and safety are the main barriers to educational attainment. Lack of even basic infrastructure (It is the only district through which at least one of the Gambia’s main roads does not pass) and the fact that the nearest schools are often located tens of kilometres away with no means of transportation mean children drop out or choose not to enrol at all.
Our aim is to tackle these multi faced constraints, including to both sensitise and lobby communities on the importance of education whilst improving local provision and removing the barriers that prevent local children from both accessing and remaining in education.