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HomeCommunityGambian Community fundraise for Masjid Project in Nottingham

Gambian Community fundraise for Masjid Project in Nottingham


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International Girl Child Day, African Girl and Education

Girl Day is celebrated every year on October 11 as an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by girls around the world, especially in Africa, and the importance of providing them with quality education. In this article, we explore the Day's importance in the context of education in Africa, the challenges faced by girls, and initiatives aimed at improving their access to education. Education is a human right and the basis of personal and social development. However, African girls often face many barriers that prevent them from accessing education. These issues may be cultural, economic or political, but they all contribute to gender inequality in education. Girls' Day provides an opportunity to address these issues and work for gender equality in education.One of the most important problems faced by girls in Africa is early marriage and pregnancy. Cultural norms in many African societies dictate that girls should marry at a young age, often forcing them to drop out of school. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive sex education can lead to unintended pregnancies, further hindering their educational progress. Initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of delaying marriage and pregnancy until after completing their education are crucial.Another major obstacle is poverty. Many families in Africa struggle to meet basic needs, and education can be costly due to expenses like uniforms, books, and transportation. Girls are often the first to be withdrawn from school when a family faces financial constraints. To address this issue, scholarships, school donation programs, and affordable school supplies can help reduce the financial burden on families and support girls' education.Additionally, especially in rural areas, the distance to school will prevent girls from going to school. Unsafe travel and long distances can put them at risk. Building more schools and providing transportation closer to communities could help solve this problem. In many African countries, boys are expected to be encouraged in education and girls are expected to work within the family. It is important to change these attitudes and promote the value of girls' education. Social awareness programs and inclusive education programs that challenge stereotypes can play a key role.Child labor is another problem affecting girls. Many girls have to work to support their families, leaving little time for education. Government policies and international organizations can work to eliminate child labor and ensure girls have the opportunity to go to school.Unfortunately, conflicts and conflict in many parts of Africa have disrupted education and made it difficult for girls to access education. Efforts to build peace and improve education in post-conflict regions are critical to providing girls with a stable and safe learning environment.One of the best ways to improve educational opportunities for girls in Africa is to support and train female teachers. Many female teachers can act as role models and make it easier for girls to stay in school by creating an inclusive environment.Investing in girls' education in Africa has many long-term benefits. It can break the cycle of poverty, improve women's health, and promote gender equality. Girls who receive an education are more likely to make informed decisions about their health, family, and career. They are also more likely to become financially independent and contribute to their communities and economies. Several organizations, both local and international, are actively working to improve the education of girls in Africa. Plan International, UNICEF, and the Malala Fund are just a few examples. They provide resources, advocacy, and support to ensure that girls have equal access to quality education.In conclusion, Girl Child Day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by girls in Africa when it comes to education. The challenges they face are many and include cultural barriers, financial constraints, and gender stereotypes. But through a combination of advocacy, policy change, and organizational efforts, progress can be made to ensure that girls receive a quality education just like boys. Investing in girls' education is not only a human rights issue but also a key driver of economic growth in Africa. This is something worth celebrating and encouraging on Girls' Day and every day.

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The weather was chilly and rainy, but this did not dampen the mood for the day’s event as the Nottingham Gambian community braved the ‘waters from the sky’ to fundraise for the Masjid Project.  

The young and old came together in unison for the fundraiser, which took place on Saturday the August 5th, 2023, at the Forest recreation grounds.

Despite the bad weather conditions scores of people from the Gambian community and other communities turned up for the event which comprised plenty of games including football.

There was a bountiful of food for the event attendees to purchase and eat with the money realised going straight to Masjid Project, and there was a wide range of traditional foods from Gambia Community the highlight being Jollof rice or popularly known as Benachin.

Masjid is an Arabic word for Mosque.

At the pinnacle of it all was a men’s football tournament, which was part of fundraising for Masjid, an Arabic word for a Mosque, which was officially opened by the Deputy leader of Nottingham, Councillor Audra Wynter, of Bestwood Ward.

A total of five teams participated in this year’s football tournament, with the team sponsored by APS International, a UK and Gambia-based money transfer company, emerging as the overall winner.

The victorious team received a trophy and individual medals for the players with the event primarily attracting the younger generation, as they are considered as the future leaders.

According to the organisers, the purpose of event was to raise awareness among the youth, discouraging them from participating in harmful activities like drug abuse, which can present challenges for both, themselves and the authorities.

Gambian Community Volunteer mobiliser, Edrissa Touray, who was part of the organising committee of the event said: “We organised the sports day in order to, firstly, fundraise funds for the mosque project and secondly, to bring the people from our community together and have fun, connect and do some exercises as a way of staying healthy and fit.”

According to Touray, in recent years, the Nottingham Gambian Community has experienced a consistent expansion saying Nottingham has garnered increased popularity among Gambians, primarily driven by the pursuit of better opportunities and, more significantly, the cultural and religious assimilation of Gambians residing in this area.

“The community has grown beyond expectation and for that matter, there is an urgent need to create our own Community Centre, where we can freely practise our religion as well as holding most of our activities,” said Touray.

Nottingham, which is regarded as Britain’s cultural and multiracial melting of gold, has become more popular to Gambians during the past years, predominantly due to cultural and religious integration of Gambians living here.

Accordingly, this has encouraged many Gambians in Nottingham, to develop a positive relationship among the communities and it has resulted in people in the community to come together for initiatives that improves their lives in the city of Nottingham.

Touray explained that the Masjid Project Fundraiser Event sought to develop positive relationships among the Nottingham Gambian community areas to help people from different localities in Nottingham and get to know and understand each other better.

“We would like to encourage people in our community to come together for initiatives that improve their lives in the city of Nottingham as we seek to embark on a project to acquire a community centre for the common good of the community especially the youth.,” said Touray.

“We organised the sports day in order to, firstly, fundraise funds for the mosque project and secondly, to bring the people from our community together and have fun, connect and do some exercises as a way of staying healthy and fit.”

Edrissa Touray
Gambian Community Volunteer mobiliser


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