SawallaH Nursery and Primary SchoolSinchu-GidomThe Gambia

SawallaH started as a small group of enthusiastic percussion lovers in the region of Hageland, in Belgium near Aarschot-Diest. Their shared hobby, the djembe and interest in the lively West African culture and music brought them in April 2011 to The Gambia.

During an excursion to a small village Sinchu-Gidom, to visit a local school, they were welcomed by the locals. Lots of children gathered around them and guided them to the school. However, we should say what was left from the school. Just 3 walls were standing up. No building, no teachers, no education. The group was amazed to see that barely at 20-minute drive from the national airport of The Gambia, people lived in a village without electricity, tap water or other basic medical facilities.

As Western residents we take these facilities for granted. Impressed by the situation the SawallaH group decided to support the villagers in their struggle for a dignified existence. Agreement to build a nursery school (kindergarten) followed their visit. Their help and support lives up the name of their djembe group. SawallaH means “done with pleasure”.

The enthusiasm of this SawallaH team works as virus that has been motivating volunteers, since 2011, to help this small village and its inhabitants.

Money is raised by many initiatives, but mainly thanks to an African food day organized yearly since 2011.

Now almost 10 years later the SawallaH group is very proud with the full operative SawallaH Nursery School, and a primary school (SawallaH Primary School). The schools are equipped with toilets and tap water. To get water, a well was drilled, and a solar-powered pump distributes the water.

In 2019 the entire domain was fenced.