Growing A Green Gambia was a huge success, we connected over 30 sustainable businesses, environmental NGO's, and eco-individuals in a day the whole family could enjoy. And we raised 8,000 GMD for The Women's Institute and their great work!
This event's theme was biodiversity, which is a sore subject in The Gambia, given their recent history of systematic biodiversity loss over the last 100 years. It was amazing to see all the NGOs communicating and working together in a country where this does not often happen. The guest speakers were factual, and some of their stories were hard-hitting, discussing current problems within the Gambia. The event felt like the platform we always wanted and has already sparked cooperation on a large scale between attendees.
At the event there were:
• Environmental workshops • Influential guest speakers • Vegetarian & organic food and drinks • Family-friendly activities • Exciting raffles prizes • Barhama Cham, one of Gambia's finest singers, and activists • Sustainable merchandise
Promoting eco and sustainable businesses and organisations is so important to us. We want everyone to see the ingenious solutions these guys are coming up with. The Gambian vendors were incredible and had everything from Moringa oils, to handwoven fabrics to recycled tyre composting bins and even turning plastic waste into beautiful artwork.
The green community in The Gambia is small but is growing, fast. We want to be at the forefront of this change and provide a platform for even the smallest Green Gambian to show off their work. We were so proud to be able to connect these vendors to the public and each other to share ideas on how we can all work together for a Greener future for Gambia.
We believe that if you engage with youth about the environmental issues it will install an understanding about why it needs protection throughout their lives, motivating them to be more sustainable. This is especially true in countries like Gambia, where the curriculum has little room for environmental education.
We invite our eco-organisations to run environmental workshops that give the children (and the whole family) at our events the opportunity to learn about the environment and sustainability with fun practical activities.
At Growing A Green Gambia we had some fantastic workshops. Highlights were: Kantora Action For Green's seed planting, where the children learnt all about the value of regreening Gambia, and had practical seed planting lessons; and Gambian Marine and Environmental Conservation Initiative, where participants created tye-dyed T-shirts using a natural dye process that has been used in Gambia for hundreds of years.
Ahmed Manjangfrom CETAG gave an eye-opening talk on the challenges facing environmentalists in the Gambia today.
Jim Njie spoke about their eco-village project in Kantora, and how they work with underserved communities through arts and design. They also provided a thought-provoking few minutes that challenged people's mindset about wealth, and happiness.
The team at Soil Solution gave a shocking talk on the challenges facing agriculture in the Gambia, specifically about pollution and its negative impacts on agriculture in the country. They also provided insight on how to improve the Gambia's soil.
Plastic Recycling Gambia
Turn trash into cash. That is eco-entrepreneur Alieu Sowe's entire philosophy. He gave insight on how to engage and incentivize the population to help clean up the country, improving the whole country's understanding of the environment in the process..
Did you know that the Gambia used to be home to Africa's Big 5! Sadly the last elephant died in 1902
CETAG - Turtle Foundation
Ahmed spoke about how important turtle protection and conservation is in the Gambia. He showed how turtle conservation could not only help the turtles but also help with Gambian economy through eco tourism.
Their Voice Must Be Heard
This talk highlighted the over-exploited fisheries in the Gambia, how it has impacted the environment, and how it is negatively impacting the local people. They showed that unsustainable fishing practices and the resulting dwindling fish reserves in the Gambia are increasing the price of fish, affecting not only coastal livelihoods, but the whole country's. The talk also touched upon the obvious pollution and how it is affect the health of the Gambian people.
Green Up Gambia
We perhaps left the best for last, Kemo from Green Up Gambia has the unique ability to resonate with his entire audience. Through heartwarming life stories, he expertly explained how it is all of our responsibilities to improve the climate within the country. He also told us the story of his amazing mother's challenge on her rice paddy, showing that the smallest polluters in the world are and will be the hardest and first hit by climate change.
Partner: My Gambia
My Gambia is the personal assistant of the country. They are the premier information website and magazine in the Gambia, offering expertise in the country, its people, history, and traditions. Ran by Ursa, a fantastic and enthusiastic lady, My Gambia were the perfect partner for the event.
Keep an eye out for their film about the event, they captured green Gambians beautifully.
To make this event happen we had to find a Gambian organisation that cared about the Gambian environmental crisis and who is actively involved in helping to fix it. We found that in Clean Earth Gambia. Clean Earth Gambia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating awareness about the environment, especially climate change, and building the capacity of communities to work towards climate action.
They are a student-led team from the University of The Gambia, led by an amazing woman Fatou. We are so excited to be partnering with this young and energetic team.
Yosh has been serving up some of the most accomplished cooking found in the Gambia since 2016. Their mix of Caribbean and African food with flavours from Asia is quite simply to die for. The rooftop setting in and amongst the jungle canopy made this the perfect venue for the first of many Gambian events.
Astrid, the owner of Yosh is one of the most chilled out people you'll ever meet, her relaxed nature is a breath of fresh air, and we are very excited to work with her on Growing A Green Gambia.
The Women's initiative Gambia helps financially poor women in The Gambia to improve their skills and income so as to raise the standard of living of their families and their communities.
They are involved in so many incredible projects, including empowering local women to recycle plastic bags into paving tiles, crafts, and fashion items. At the event, we saw some of their amazing projects first hand. Showing off recycled tyre composting bins, handmade soaps, purses made from plastic, and much more.
Isatou, the founder of the initiative is an inspirational woman and is now a famous activist through her work on the women's initiative. They were worthy recipients of the money raised at the event.