This is the story of the Morgan Clark Foundation. It started when the school in the Gambia was washed away, and resulted in the building of a substantial and purpose-built new school which has become the centre of learning for the region.
Here’s how the Morgan Clark Lower Basic School, Jarjari, was built…
The Gambia is a third world country and the north bank is the poorest region. Villages such as Jarjari, near the border with Senegal, do not have electricity or running water. Education is seen as vital for the future of their children. So when in 2009 the village’s mud brick infant school was washed away in heavy flooding, the villagers were devastated. Now it has a substantial and purpose-built new school which has become the centre of learning for the region. This is the story of the Morgan Clark Lower Basic School, Jarjari.
The story began when Phil Morgan, Chairman of Morgan Clark, visited the area in December 2009. He was so moved by the enthusiasm and total commitment of the village elders to rebuilding the school that he decided to do something to help. And so the Morgan Clark Foundation was set up.
Over the next year, the project took on its own momentum. Offers of help and support flooded in: surveyors who work with Morgan Clark went out to survey the site and put the plans together; staff at Morgan Clark devoted time and energy to fundraising; electricians, shippers, clothing suppliers and many others emerged to provide vital expertise and equipment – all underpinned by significant financial support from Morgan Clark.
But it was the villagers themselves who really made a difference. They mixed all the concrete and made every brick by hand; they tilled the soil for the vegetable garden which would feed the children; and they worked ceaselessly to build the school itself. It was all completed in time for the grand opening in February 2011.
The story doesn’t stop there… The school continues to develop, more teachers have been sponsored, uniforms provided, and a perimeter wall built to protect the site. The school has been adopted by the local education authority as a Lower Basic School and is now providing education for children from the village and surrounding area up to the age of 14.
But the school is so much more than that; it’s now a centre of education for the whole area. In particular it’s providing adults with business acumen which will enable them to generate income and build a better life for themselves and their families.
It’s been a fantastic story so far, and Morgan Clark is very proud to have created something which will provide opportunities for adults and children in and around Jarjari for years to come.
You can find out more about the Morgan Clark Foundation and the Morgan Clark Lower Basic School by visiting the MCF website.