Nursery Play Garden 2018
The creation in 2018 of an educational play space around the nursery complex (constructed in 2017) completed a cycle of investment by Our Global School to raise the standards of early years provisions at Mbollet-ba Lower Basic School. Located in a mango grove adjacent to the early years classrooms, the play garden is now a major community asset, supporting health, recreation, and the development of core skills in communication, collaboration and creativity for the young of this village community.
Working with Donor St James Place
St James Place Foundation awarded the Nursery Play Garden a grant of £2500 to enable OGS to complete this project. This was the project's major (>50%) funding.
This generous support meant that the efforts of many volunteers in the UK and The Gambia, and smaller scale fundraisers, could effectively contribute to this major improvement in community education.
Inspectors and officials from The Gambia's Education Ministry, MPs and local people from the region have visited the play garden and vowed to copy this kind of approach more widely. One local action may trigger a chain of good developments around it. It has helped to point out the benefits of a more fully rounded approach to education, beyond memorisation and fact-learning.
While the play garden is mostly used as part of the Early Years curriculum, these older children visiting the school garden for watering duties stopped for a bit of "regression" and played roles as bus drivers and passengers. The play area is a safe and creative area in the heart of the village for young children to form friendships beyond their immediate family and tribal group. Two OGS young volunteers Janina (year 9) and Scarlett (year 6) also joined in the fun.