The second group of 12 young people referred to the charity Thriving Through Venture (TTV) from both private and state schools in Wiltshire – including St John’s Academy and Marlborough College – is currently in Marlborough’s link community of Gunjur in The Gambia.
Each of these young persons has been referred with particular vulnerabilities in order to help develop their confidence and resilience and contribute to their general wellbeing.
From the professional studies undertaken of last year’s group, the charity’s leaders expect a great improvement in their general wellbeing as a result of their work with TTV.
The 2019 group is studying the issues surrounding migration and Identity. Before going to The Gambia they have interviewed migrants to the UK.
This included spending a day with the Gambian community in Bristol and with refugees attending the Harbour Project in Swindon. They also spent an evening with Clare Roberts Lamont from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
While in Gunjur each member of the group is partnered with someone from a different ethnic (tribal) group to learn how they feel about their identity.
Certain members of the group have been studying the art and skills of photography to take photos of refugees and migrants which will illustrate a report to be written by the group.
Others are engaged in drama and song with a view to putting on a performance with their Gambian partners on the subject of migration at the end of their two weeks in The Gambia.
This performance will be repeated in the Ellis Theatre at Marlborough College at 7.00pm on Sunday, 15 September (without their Gambian partners). All will be welcome. Entry free – retiring collection for TTV.
The group studying migration will be interviewing young Gambians who have taken ‘the back way’ to Europe – seeing no future in their own country. They have undertaken the perilous journey across the Sahara to meet appalling conditions in Libya, have been unable to take the dangerous crossing to Italy and have decided to return to The Gambia.
The whole group, with their partners have been invited by Hon Sharon Wardle, UK High Commissioner to The Gambia to spend time with her at the High Commission to learn about her role and for them to present some of the experiences and reflections that they have had while in Gunjur.
Marlborough.news aim to publish some of the blogs written by the young people during their time in The Gambia.