News Update December 2020

The future of Our Global School

The world’s changing for everyone. Five years on, we are taking a fresh look at what we do.  The Trustees have reflected and discussed how our capacity and how the needs of our partners are evolving. It's time to move things on. 


At Mbollet-Ba Lower Basic School there’s been a huge uplift in capacity, quality and approach. The school and community now organise great building programmes, run scheduled repair and maintenance, drama, community training, take the lead on initiatives like sending teachers to courses and deliver a radio-learning series. This is a school with pride in its present, its past, and its future. 


The position of the UK community connected to Mbollet-Ba has weakened. The economy of the UK is collapsing and things will get worse. Parents at Salusbury School who could be active supporters are giving priority to local food banks and homelessness. The huge Black Lives Matter movement has put the attention of those who fight for reform on big problems right here. The Pandemic makes it unrealistic for Our Global School to fundraise. Yearly group trips to The Gambia are impossible for the second year in a row. 


We wish things could keep going like it was from 2015 to now. But it’s not feasible. We have come to the sad conclusion that Our Global School should no longer operate. We will close the organisation on 31 March 2021. How will things look then in the future for our partnering?


The many individuals linked to Mbollet will of course keep up their personal links, and will doubtless make private visits when they can travel again. But there will be no more organised large group trips of 30 or so parents and children to Mbollet-Ba like those of 2014-9. There will be no more financing of projects or school costs and teacher salaries and student bursaries like we did in the past. We know this will be a shock. 


To help the school to manage this change, we are going to transfer all our remaining funds to Mbollet-Ba Lower Basic School. It’s going to be up to the school committees, staff and management in consultation with the village community to decide how these funds will be received, managed and used. The amount will be around GMD 100,000, of which half immediately and half in April 2021. We are emphasising to our partners in Mbollet-Ba that these funds will not be replaced. We will stay close over the coming months and support decision-making about use of funds.

None of this affects the close personal links between all who have met and partnered over the past 10 years and we all look forward to many future years of warm friendship.


Steve Haggard, David Hodge, Sophie Hulme, Jenny Brown, Steve Cripps. Trustees. 12/12/20.