The Colley Jimarr Kindergarten
Colley Jimarr is in the community of Timbukutou in Kombo South. Mr Colley, who had officially retired after 20 years as a teacher, founded the kindergarten in November 2018.
Mr Colley’s classes
Mr Colley’s fun counting and spelling songs alternate between English and Wolof; one of the most common local dialects. Just check out the clip below!
Right now the school operates from a tiny house on rented land. There is barely enough room for the 23 boys and 18 girls aged between 4 and 7, who are attending on rotating days. It is a concrete building with some structural damage and no electricity or bathroom facilities. The school has a few books and toys, but otherwise is extremely limited on learning materials.
This is where we come in, and we need your help!
Watch a typical class at Colly Jimarr
What do Plant & Pencil want to achieve?
We want to enable the school to purchase the land that it is currently renting and to transform the surrounding space into a market garden. Cash crops will eventually pay for day-to-day expenses, making the school self-sustainable.
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. This will also give the teachers a way 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 recieve a report from Mr Colley on their academic progress, and a warm invitation to join the Plant & Pencil team on our next visit!
This West African country hugs the shores of The Gambia river. Known as the “Smiling Coast”, it is a beautiful, culturally rich country, with villagers mostly supporting themselves via the fishing and farming trade.
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.
A quick hello from Jenny
“I first visited The Gambia to set up a website for the Sandele Foundation; a community development NGO based in Kartong village. My company in the UK, Little Green Space, offers website design to small, socially impactful businesses, and it was through this that I evolved the idea to help in a more direct way.
I met graphic designer Sainabou Jarjue, who commutes from the Timbukutou community to work on the Sandele team. When Sainabou shared the Colley Jimarr kindergarten story with me and her desire to help, we decided to work together to make this happen: Plant & Pencil was born! We want to thank you very much for your support!”