The Free Internet Cafe for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the first in the whole of Africa, which opens the World Wide Web, making The Gambia a leading light in Africa, with this technology by allowing free and total access to surf the net send and receive emails and for students to enhace their studies with the aid of this pioneering software. No more do they need to rely on a third party to read to them newspapers, magazines, books, letters and world wide information. - Feedback of the learning experience

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Feedback of the learning experience.

The project facilitates effective cooperative gardening only by an input of information and modes of organizational approach. At the same time the project absorbs local reality. The WHY and HOW of local initiatives and the way the participants cope with special local circumstances. The learning progress will be monitored by utmost care to be to minimize it in time, maximize it in effect to all project targets, from empowerment to productive output. A considerable part of the time of the Project's instruction will be devoted to work with the feedback data. In the later phase of the project this will be integrated with the training of new Instruction Teams.

The future holds a lot for our operations in this country. Having formed a basis for the right kind of approach toward village self-sufficiency, it is possible that we might be in near future formulating development strategies that will focus more on what the people alreedy know and do, and animate them in whatever way to use their available resources to make a decent living. This will be through a programme for a new integrated approach toward Sustainable Livelihood for the average Gambian villager. The starting point of this programme will require going further down to the villagers and allowing them to produce action plans for solutions to their most pressing economic, social and environmental problems. The Trust will then explore avenues for funds to ensure that the villagers set about to implement their plans without waiting for outside assistance.

We expect the people's action plans to reed like a comprehensive development programme, covering virtually all areas of development (health, gender, agriculture, environment, incomegeneration, education, child development, family planning) that donors usually address in isolation from one another. We will however only be dealing particularly with certain areas that fall within our aims and objectives.

Sustainable Livelihood as implemented in other developing countries, is a new approach to development from bottom to top, in that it takes as it starting point not poverty but the wealth of the poor: The knowledge, skills and adaptive strategies that have enabled the poor to survive over the years, often against terrible odds. Such adaptive strategies might be considered to be the changes and adjustment they will make in the livelihood system in order to cope with difficult circumstances and reason a way out - this is the entry point of the Sustainable Livelihood approach.

In this approach, the simple act of focusing on what the villagers know and do - instead of what they don't have and need, shifts the perception of the poor of themselves, from one of helpless victims of circumstances to one of capable actors who can control their destiny. Through this approach, we seek to awaken and empower rural villagers(poor) to take charge of their own development; a participatory rural appraisal system that will involve the villagers in a detailed study of their own community and livelihood system, with the guide of a planning methodology that will be designed to produce strategies for action.

The fact that the action plans will be produced by the villagers. and not imposed on them from outside, might prove to be the most reliable predictor of the programme's success. When carried out effectively, the Sustainable Livelihood Approach can indeed be a foundational drive toward a sustainable human development.


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