Through a sustainable tourism module at the University of Brighton, a relationship had already been forged with the community of Kartong in The Gambia, on the southern border with Senegal. This led to training being held, in December 2013, at the Sandele Eco Retreat and Learning Centre in The Gambia. F4P trainers then worked alongside eight trained local community coaches in Kartong on a week-long programme for 145 boys and girls and 18 young men. A larger team was invited to return in April 2014 and more local coaches were trained; this time 240 boys and girls and 24 young men took part. F4P volunteers have been visiting The Gambia once or twice a year since, and regular visits led to the establishment of F4P Gambia, independently run and managed by the local coaches.
The Gambia is not a country in conflict but there are many other issues that need addressing, including the local sporting infrastructure (both physical and professional) sustainability (environmental and economic) and opportunity (gender inequality and lack of resources). In addition to this, perceptions of destinations such as those in Africa are formulated on the basis of what the media offers, with poverty, desertification, famine, diseases and death remaining the stigmatised images of the continent. The multifaceted cultural and natural assets often remain hidden in the shadows of negativity.
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