The Gambia Student Scholarship Fund

is seeking contributions to support Gambian middle and high school students.

Top Ten Reasons Why Contributing to
The Gambia Student Scholarship Fund Is A Good Idea

  1. Although primary education is free in The Gambia, middle and high schools require payment of school fees which are out of reach for many families, especially in the rural areas. This lack of access to education perpetuates a cycle of poverty, regardless of a student's aptitute or ability.

  2. Each year between 5-15% of students in middle and high schools drop out of school. In the overwhelming majority of cases this is caused by financial reasons.

  3. The Gambia Student Scholarship Fund is a small scale program that has been in operation for at least 7 years. It has supported dozens of students through school. However each year several deserving students have to be rejected because of a lack of funds.

  4. The scholarship application process targets students with the greatest leadership potential and academic ability as well as financial need. A requirement for the award is to have a recommendation from a Peace Corps volunteer who personally knows the student's ability in school and financial situation at home. Many of the recipients are taught by Peace Corps teachers.

  5. The scholarship program is run entirely by Peace Corps volunteers. There are no overhead costs. 100% of donations go to Gambian students! The scholarship fund has no institutional support. It relies completely on small donations from volunteers and friends abroad.

  6. By making a small contribution you can feel like you've actually done something to improve the life of a person and a family in West Africa.

  7. In developing countries, there is no government social security system. The extended family system (e.g. aunts, uncles, cousins, inlaws, etc.) plays a much more significant role in helping the less fortunate. Hence there is a tremendous ripple effect to be gained from educating a person. Each employed person is likely to provide direct support on average to well over a dozen other people, more if the person is female. Education has been consistently recognized by development agencies as the most effective means to achieve long term sustainable development.

  8. For as little as D600 ($60) you can enable a student to attend middle school for an entire year. For D900 ($90), you can help a student attend high school. Smaller or larger contributions are welcome also. There are no hidden linkages or overhead costs; your contribution will go directly to the school in the name of your student. Not many other programs offer you the opportunity to personally and directly take the credit for sending a deserving student through school for a year.

  9. A priority of the Gambian Ministry of Education and many development agencies such as Peace Corps is to increase the number of girls who stay in school.

  10. Right now, there's a 6th grade student sitting in a classroom in The Gambia, wondering if this will be the last year she or he will ever be in school. You can make the difference....

Case study:
Ali Sowe is from Chabai, a small village of less than 100 people near Kalaji about half way up the country. His parents are both rural farmers. Ali attended Nusrat High School on a Peace Corps scholarship from 1990-1994, and got a Division One on his GCE exams. He is now enrolled in the teacher training program at Gambia College, and next year he will be in front of his own classroom, probably in one of the rural schools, teaching a class of primary school students. If it hadn't been for someone like yourself who made a contribution towards Ali's education through the Peace Corps scholarship fund, he'd probably be selling cigarettes at the side of the road or unloading goods at the port, because that's about the only type of employment for young men with no job skills and no education. Fortunately though his students will continue to reap the benefits from the education he obtained through the Peace Corps Scholarship Fund.

For more information or to send a contribution, please see our donation form.