Art Class: Kungkujang School, Gambia

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

We set off to the village of Kungkujang early and arrived after a bumby ride- lost a box on the way, which Ebrahim recovered and had the help of a local who invited us into his compound. We were pushed for time so had to politely decline. The kids call foreigners "tubabs". As we enter the village we hear high pitched "tubabs! Tubabs!" from all directions. We were greeted by the Chief and his brother which quickly turned into anger an frustration as he said he was not informed of our visit and hence couldn't give us a proper welcome, but Kebba talked him down and he led us to the clinic where the villagers arrive to have their health checks. The chiefs brother opens is home to the Sisters to conduct their work in a clean, dry and cool environment. The villagers all have slices of an exercise book as their medical booklets which all their ailments and medicine are logged in. The Sisters arrived, spoke about their work and we left them to it. We went to see the Lions water tower which is checked and maintained by a delegated local. Me, Brigid and Marcia were then taken to the school where we met with the headmaster who told us how the nursery and the schools function while Mike had his meeting with Kebba, the chief and the rest of the council. We were taken on a tour of each class where the children sang for us. They were learning about fruits in a song and then there was a clapping song. My heart melted.

My art class students were well behaved as we set up, they sat quietly watching and waiting. I provided each table with paper plates, feathers and glue. The plates were prepared as masks ready for the kids to decorate. The teacher was very helpful as he explained the task, showed them my example and we began. It took a little while for them to grasp the concept of what they were creating, but with a little guidance, their creative juices were flowing! As the project moved on more kids showed up to see what was happening and they spilled into the room!! I believe that art and creativity is an important part of expression. That without colour and imagination, the world can be a dark place. Gambia has given me colour, and innovation and creativity and in turn I wanted to share mine with those kids. I had the best day, I only wish I could have taught more classes during my trip.

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