Timbukutou is an isolated community on the southern coastline of The Gambia, and home to special a grass-roots initiative: Colley Jimarr Kindergarten.
Mr Colley had officially retired after 20 years of teaching, yet since October 2018 he has brought 23 boys and 17 girls, ages 4-7, together for kindergarten classes. They learn to read and write through magically interactive songs and games in both English and their native dialect - Wolof.
Colley Jimarr Kindergarten is extremely limited on learning materials with very few books and toys. The building, made with a mixture of concrete and corrugate, has much structural damage and has no electricity or bathroom facilities.
This is where we come in, and we need your help!
What do Plant & Pencil want to achieve?
We want to enable the school to purchase the land that it is currently renting and develop a market garden for cash crops. This will help feed students, their families and create an income stream to pay for the school’s expenses.
We also want to raise enough money to repair the school building to buy furniture, learning materials, office supplies and to give three teachers decent wages for the coming year. Since this community lacks electricity and uses candles for lighting we need to acquire solar panels - enabling the teachers to demonstrate clean energy.
Little Green Futures: long term goals
✎ Expanding the facility to educate more children in the area.
✎ Creating a library where the children will develop their reading skills and provide a resource for homework.
✎ Providing opportunities for the children to develop marketable skills such as gardening, computing, batik dyeing and sewing.
£50 supports a child’s schooling for one year.
A little goes a long way! The price of two coffees a month would buy a child pencils, books, colouring materials, uniforms and lunch for a year. In return for your support you will receive a personal letter and photos from the school, signed by all the children. You will also receive a report from Mr Colley on their academic progress, and a warm invitation to join the Plant & Pencil team on our next visit!
This tiny West African country, known as the Smiling Coast, hugs the shores of The Gambia river.
This is a beautiful, culturally rich country with villagers mostly supporting themselves via fishing and agriculture.
Numbers living in poverty are increasing
Farmers and fishermen earn a basic income and struggle to get access to basic necessities. This means they can rarely afford to send their children to school.
Travel to school can be dangerous
Good schools are few and far between. The Timbukutou children are much too far away from these big schools to travel alone safely. As a result there is an extremely high level of illiteracy.
Inequality persists for girls and women
Many girls do not attend or are required to leave school early. The Colley Jimarr Kindergarten strives to provide equal opportunities for both girls and boys.
Education: the first step out of poverty
A good education will give young people the skills they need to support themselves in the future.
Little Green Space
Jenny Doré launched Little Green Space to focus on brand messaging, contemporary website design and social strategy for purpose-driven and responsible enterprises that wish to make a difference for our beautiful planet. 10% of her company revenue goes directly to this school project.
“I met Sainabou Jarjue when I first visited The Gambia to set up a website for Sandele Foundation situated near Kartong Village. Sainabou, who lives with the Timbukutou community, shared stories about Colley Jimarr kindergarten and how much she wanted to help them. So we decided to work together to make this happen - Plant & Pencil was born! Once we meet our funding goal my hope is to continue helping schools across the world to make a difference for children in need. No child should be illiterate or go hungry!” - JENNY