Stimulating longer term systemic support and education for children – The Gambia


ChildHope is working with the most marginalised and vulnerable children in Africa and Asia through local partner organisations able to create lasting change


The Gambia

Start Year:


Run Time:

3 years

Participant Age:


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The Gambia is ranked 174/189 on the Human Development Index 2018, making it one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Approximately 18,000 children in The Gambia live in traditional Quranic education schools called ‘Majalis’. These are traditional, unregulated, residential education centres and many children end up leaving without a basic primary level education. This significantly reduces their employment prospects, often confining them to poverty for life.

Over the past two years, ChildHope has been working closely with local delivery partner, the Institute of Social Reform and Action (ISRA) in The Gambia. The project team has developed relationships with a sample of three Majalis in the West Coast Region and continues to improve the living conditions and quality of education for children and young people (CYP) aged between 5-21 years.

Now entering its final yeat the project is on track to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Improved Education: 270 Children and Young People in Majalis will gain improved literacy and numeracy skills and 35% will go onto enrol in mainstream primary schools.
  • Improved Safeguarding and Protection: Children and Young People in Majalis will be protected from harm and abuse and have improved hygiene and sanitation conditions.
  • Improved Living Conditions: Livelihood activities will enable increased income for basic needs (food, education and health) and provide job opportunities for young people over 13yrs who are too old to transfer to mainstream school.
  • Advocacy for Long Term Change: Through local networks, government duty-bearers will become aware of the living conditions that children endure in the Majalis and commit to increasing support and improving the quality of education and the protection of children living there.

When I started this programme only a few children were able to read the alphabet or count from one to fifty. Presently when all efforts were put together almost all of them can spell and write words correctly, count to hundred and do simple additions. I am so proud of these achievements but the credit is with the Majalis and all its partners for supporting this noble progamme.

Musa Kanteh is the teacher at Madarasatou Manar Al-Huda Memoriza in Sifoe

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