The Brufut Education Project: Food for Thought
Blog > The Brufut Education Project: Food for Thought
We showcase the Brufut Education Project and the incredible initiatives they run in The Gambia.
Education non-profit aims to provide one lunch a day for each of its students for a year.
When Maam Samba Ndure was alive, he could often be found under the shade of a mango tree teaching some of the local children how to read. As one of the village elders in Brufut, The Gambia, he was dedicated to uplifting and inspiring the next generation. So it is perhaps no surprise that his son, Mustapha Ndure, a Gambian resident in the UK, founded the Brufut Education Project in 2002 with the aim of providing quality education to the children of the area. "We wanted to provide a centre that catered to the needs of the local community, and we believe in being the change that we wish to see in the world," explains Mustapha. The Ndure family compound in Brufut was chosen as the site to house the school. Mustapha, with the help of friends and family was able to create a team of committed and passionate volunteers who began fundraising in the UK in 2007. Just two years later construction of the school began. "We have had so many volunteers come and lend a hand in the work, it has really been encouraging to see so many people take an interest in Brufut " explains Mustapha.
More than 80 volunteers from the UK and elsewhere in Europe returned year after year to work in partnership with the people of Brufut to build the school and in spring 2014 the building was complete. Today there are 330 students aged 4-15, seven teachers and one administrator. The school’s board of directors includes members from The Gambia, UK and Canada. "Our centre is unique in the local area for the dynamism and diversity of programs and curricula on offer," says Mustapha. The school curriculum includes Arabic lessons, computer classes, sewing and screen printing. There is also a library, an eco-friendly playground and a bicycle workshop.
Next for the BEP is to raise £10,000 in order to guarantee a proper school lunch for every pupil, every day of the upcoming school year. It is not just an admirable aim either, many of the students are orphans and most come from poor backgrounds. So school lunch may be their only hot meal for the day. Working in conjunction with Unicef, the project has developed a menu that is comprised of nutritious dishes using fresh ingredients, the cost of which comes to just £28 per student per year. "That’s 252 meals a year for our students, meaning six lunches a week for the entire year, minus the six weeks when school is closed for summer, Christmas and Easter," says Mustapha. The cost for these school lunches comes to £9,647 for the year. "We started an Indiegogo campaign to see if we can raise the funds so that our children can get the nutrition that they need to grow into healthy, motivated adults. That’s why we think this is so important. "The meals will be cooked by competent and trained local women, who we will employ as our chefs. We have two candidates for this job, and we would like an additional £350 to pay their salaries. Thus, we get the total of £10,000 to operate this program for a full year," he explains. The Brufut Education Project are committed to continuing their work and making a positive impact on our global community. Food for thought, indeed.
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