At the FVH General Assembly on 2 June 2014, the foundation stone was laid for the Tanji Education Center (TEC). This initiative is in response to the sad fact that today The Gambia represents one of the main African countries from where refugees originate; every fourth to fifth refugee who manages to cross the Mediterranean to Europe comes from The Gambia. These refugees are usually between 18 and 30 years old and move from their rural homes to the areas around the capital of Banjul, in the hope of an onward journey to Europe. The reasons are widespread, predominately poverty, high unemployment and a lack of any prospects.
With the TEC, we want to make a contribution to stem the ongoing refugee crisis by helping young women and men build a sustainable existence as farmers.
From a historic perspective, and just as is the case in Switzerland, agriculture forms the backbone of The Gambia. Nevertheless, all young Gambians today want to work in the tourism industry, in the hope of earning “quick” money. At the same time, all vegetables and practically all fruits are imported, even though The Gambia has rich, fertile soil and more than enough water to sustain itself.
As part of one-year training modules, 10 young people will be able to learn how they can not only provide for themselves as farmers, but also how to build a sustainable existence by selling their produce. The actual training modules are undertaken together with the Njawara Agricultural Training Center (NATC), which is also committed to natural and sustainable farming principles.
It is planned that the TEC will start its educational operations during the course of 2018, after the required infrastructure for training and production has been built, and for this, the FVH relies on continued donations.