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Gambia

The Link aims to bring together young people in Westbury, Wiltshire with those in Gunjur, The Gambia in a spirit of friendship, openness and a willingness to learn from each other. It is an opportunity to learn from, and exchange experiences with people who have a very different culture. It was initially made possible by Elizabeth Carter and the experience and expertise of the Marlborough Brandt Group, which has enjoyed a link with Gunjur for over twenty five years.

Gunjur is not recognised as a town because of its poor infrastructure but actually has a population of 12,000 people, and is located about 30 miles from the capital Banjul. The mostly Muslim population is principally engaged in fishing and farming.

The people are so friendly welcoming and helpful. Extended families live together in compounds. These vary in size and numbers of buildings. Some, just a single building divided into rooms for each family, while others can be made of several buildings with maybe the main one having tiled flooring, a generator creating electric light and a television operated by a car battery. The main forms of transport are foot, bicycle or donkey cart.

Gunjur is rich in traditions of folklore, music and dance and so it is fitting that a basic aim of this link is to use the arts as a medium for building friendships and learning from each other. Matravers’ status a Specialist Arts College can do much to support its link.