In December 2013, a group of 6 F4P coaches worked alongside 12 local coaches and stakeholders from the Gambian Village of Kartong Sport Committee, St.Martins Basic Cycle School and Sandele Eco Resort. It is the first time F4P has worked in The Gambia.
The 7 day programme began with training of local coaches in how to deliver the values based methodology and the locals teaching the visitors about local customs and circumstances. The group then worked with 146 boys and girls and 24 young men over four days in Football, Rugby and Netball.
Whilst The Gambia is not in conflict with its neighbours, it has issues around building capacity, sustainable development, high youth unemployment and poverty. Kartong Village are also finding ways to address some fundamental social issues around the hitherto marginalised Balanta community who live by the side of the village sport field, the large numbers of educated but unemployed young adults and how to raise girl’s expectations in sport.
Rugby and Netball were introduced for the first time with great success despite the children and local coaches having no previous knowledge of the games. The visiting coaches learnt how to adapt to local circumstances and by working with the local coaches, the team found ways of adapting the usual ‘off pitch’ activities used to promote the F4P values. These were enhanced by elements of the University of Johannesburg’s Life Games so that confidence, communication and social skills were developed.
Geri Mitchell of Sandle said ‘F4P was absolutely stunning and many in the village are still talking about what a wonderful time was created by your process. I am already seeing the values beginning to shine through in many ways’
Abdoulie Manneh, Head of the Kartong Sport Committee reported back to the village elders and Alkalo (chief) ‘we are very much happy with what Football 4 Peace has done here and we have learnt many new things to use for the future.’
The F4P delegation worked alongside a group of University of Brighton students studying Niche Tourism who collaborated with local stakeholders in Sport and Tourism to develop a series of sustainable development plans for the community, including one to develop Sport in the village as a tool for social and economic development.