Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Learning and Resource Center
Explain your project in details:
We believe there is a profound relationship between poverty and illiteracy. The level of education has considerably improved in The Gambia, but illiteracy is still rampant. According to UNESCO nearly half of adult population, age 15 and above cannot read and write in the Gambia. In 2015, the government gives free and compulsory education to all children from basic to secondary school. But due to high level of poverty, majority of underprivileged families cannot afford paying for school materials such as text-books and other school supplies for their children. As a result most of these children underperform in academic exams because of insufficient supplies of learning materials. Poor academic performances are one of the reasons for increase in dropout rate and illiteracy in the country. This project seeks to achieve the following outcomes between now to December 2020: Make educational resources available and accessible to everyone and promoting the culture of stronger reading habits among children and young people. Organizing programs that encourages the public to read for fun and equipping its centers library with books and keeping library open for public use. Improve the learning achievement of 430 underprivileged schooled children between ages 13 to 18 in Chupg Town Dippakunda and its environs by providing them access to free tuition remedial classes, study facilities, textbooks, coaching , tutors and mentors for free of charge. Teaching children and young people technical skills that will enable them to succeed, especially for girls, skills such as computer coding, programming, and web design. Increase the number of uneducated adult who can read and write in the Gambia by providing basic literacy education to uneducated adults, and organizing entrepreneurial training and income generating skills for unskilled youths to become self-reliance and abstain from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe by road.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Quality education is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since the inception of Unique Foundation The Gambia, we have been dedicated to advocating and implementing projects that ensures access to good quality education and learning for all and increasing awareness on the importance of education. 01. We have collaborated with other local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in The Gambia to provide life skills such as Information and communication technology (ICT) training for rural youth in villages around Tanjeh. Success stories from this training are evident as some participants become self-employed by providing services requiring graphic design while some others gone on to take further studies in ICT-related programs. 02. In 2017, Unique Foundation kick started a study center in Chupg Town Dippa-kunda The Gambia. The center offers an After School Support programs for children and young people with free basic and public library and internet library services to the public. Tuition Free Remedial classes are conducted for schooled and unschooled children and young people in the center, adult education for unschooled adults and skill acquisition for unskilled and unemployed youths. We aim to reach 1,086 people by the end of 2020. Currently, the center has more than 50 children that attend its free tuition classes every week; these are children who do not have access to study facilities at home, textbooks, coaching, and tutors. These children are from very poor families and most of their parents are uneducated, and are unable to help the children with their school work and assignments. The center is providing this needed support, helping the children gain better understanding of lessons taught in their various schools with access to quality learning materials. Classes for unschooled adult and young people are conducted in the center also.
Sustainability and future plans
Our aim is to end inter-generational poverty in our community but sadly poverty will persist as long as illiteracy remains. This is why our focus is on reducing the high rate of illiteracy. We believe education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities and the world at large. We will continue to minimize circumstances that prevent children and young people from staying in school, improving educational quality and learning achievement of children and young people, and continue to ensure opportunities for underprivileged children and young people to complete secondary school by continuously providing them access to free learning materials, study facilities mentors and qualify private tutors for free of charge. By the end of 2020, the success of this project will enable the organization to extend the project to other parts of the country. The organization will continue to sustain the project by the assistance of local donor and from the effort of the community. Furthermore, the adult school will offer scholarship to deserving students while others will be require to pay reduced fees, it will enable the organization to generate little fund to sustain miscellaneous expenses( rent, bills and maintenance of all computers). The center will also operate an internet library for the community whereby it can also generate additional funding. We seek to achieve the following outcomes between now to December 2022: Make educational resources accessible to everyone and promote the culture of reading for fun by setting up community libraries in 5 rural and slum urban communities. Libraries will be equipped with books, computers and internet access and libraries will be kept open for the public use.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Solomon Ifeanyi Nathaniel; I am an advocate for good quality education and education for all. I hold a certificate and double diploma in A+ and information and communication technology and Higher National Diploma in Social work. I have over 6 years' experience in community development, youth leadership and advocacy. I am a formal ICT officer at Nigeria International School the Gambia; I am a program director and CEO of Unique Foundation The Gambia, a charitable organization that works with children, youth and women in Gambia. I am a grantee of The Pollination Project and IDEAS for Us (USA). I am the founder and CEO of Smart Graphics, a coordinator at the Learning and Resource Center (UF Project Center) and the founder of Unique Foundation Adult Academy; I am a Global citizen and a member of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). I am passionate about education and I love knowledge this has been my inspiration. I believe that access to education is a fundament human right and everyone should have equal right to access education. I grow up in a polygamous and underprivileged family, struggled through school because my parents could not afford to pay for my schooling. In grade 6, I dropped out of school. I was unable to read and write at the time because the school I attended has no library and there are limited learning materials with overcrowded classrooms full of kids. Years later, I taught myself to read and write and went back to school. Looking back at my own live now, I see many young people just like I was and my goal is to do all that I can to help support those precious and innocent young people who did not choose for themselves the home they should be born into.