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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

'Travel as Volunteers' to Janjanbureh

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Learning with the wood carver

Through the great organisation,Kids Are The World The Gambia, with collaboration of online platform My Gambia, twelve Slovenian visitors have had an amazing all round experience in CRR based in Janjanbureh staying for just two nights and cramming in so many activities.

'Travel as Volunteer' is one of three sections of a charitable organisation since 2013, the other two being 'Sponsor a child' and an Educational centre in Brufut.

"Travelling with a purpose is a different way of travelling. It is a combination of volunteering or study and responsible tourism. It is an exchange of knowledge, broadening of horizons and a marvellous experience.

The program offers you the opportunity to get to know a new culture up close and being involved in the local environment. It allows you to gain a lot of new knowledge, to be reminded about forgotten values and to get the feeling that you are part of a movement that aims at changing people’s lives for the better"

Volunteers have been travelling to Janjanbureh for many years but only staying the traditional overnight stay but after close connections with members of JUST ACT and interviewing Jalamang Danso in July's magazine they are aware of the wealth of experiences in even a short time. Jalamang has given these volunteers an insight into everyday life up country.

Greeted by energetic dancing on the first evening

'Introducing each other with fun, dancing to Happy Corner for more refreshments and then to the party. Meet the local people’s feel happy and have the best experience"

(Learning to dance with Jalamang is TRULY an amazing experience!)

The following day they travelled to Jamali a Fulani community

making the short ferry crossing to the North Bank , meeting the Captain

Let the picture tell the story as they Do-Learn-Feel-Share and Benefit

as they spent four hours of the morning there....

Greeted by the Alkalo with story telling and entertainment

with local hand made instruments of ritis, talking drum and song

The children will always gather around and no doubt joined in

They uncovered the complexities of preparing peanut and rice porridge,

the rhythmic pounding heard every day in any Gambian community

What is it like to work on the land?

How do you source and transport your water?

After their return two guests chose to kayak on the river

They were in very safe hands as in January 2020, Jalamang, with 14 others, had received intense training by two international trainers, Darren Sherwood and Chris Brain. This had been initiated by FairPlay Gambia through YEP who funded the superb kayaks and safety equipment as well as the superb training.

This is a great way to see the island from a different perspective and there are twenty kayaks available, both singles and doubles, enabling those less confident to kayak in style with an experienced guide This was my option when I was a guinea pig in the training! (Jane Smith)

At 5pm a two hour walking tour around the town of Janjanbureh

and the Kankurang Museum

Here they heard about the importance of the Freedom Tree Monument and the history of the island, always a place for the freedom of slaves, both domestic and those to be transported.

At the Kankurang Centre Senior Museum Officer, our own Musa Foon was able to enlighten them about the cultural traditions of the various masquerades to be found throughout The Gambia and especially the Kankurang so central to life in Janjanbureh

After a full day there was still time for evening entertainment

where they saw the above kankurang and learnt about the mysterious Jambajabally.

So enthusiastic was the entertainment, the drum split! (Image courtesy of My Gambia)

As always the locals and especially the children will love to be a part of it all

The final morning they all took part in

traditional tie and dye workshop with Fatu Sillah,

Chairperson of the Women's Craft Association

At 12 noon they departed back to Banjul! What a full experience they had!

Would you like that experience too? There are several fully trained guides.

Book Direct with

Destination Janjanbureh


or links included

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