Micro Gardening & Entrepreneurship In Njau CRR, The Gambia

25 trainees from CRR have successfully completed their training program on Micro Gardening & Entrepreneurship in Njau, Gambia.

The participants from CRR were without doubt the most engaged and eager to learn group we have ever had. They wanted to fully utilise every aspect of the training program and were excited by every skill or piece of knowledge they learned.

The first week of the program taught trainees how to make and manage their very own micro gardens. Trainees were taught how to make a micro garden table, how to recycle bottles, tyres, and gallon containers into usable and productive garden beds. They were shown how to make and use a hydroponic system to grow mint using abandoned waste pipes. The week also introduced some key garden principles including planting distance, making fertiliser, how to control pests, and labelling and record keeping.

Trainees had a variety of learning tools to help them learn. Lamin & Babucarr (The MyFarm Micro Gardening Trainers) demonstrated the practical skills, that the trainees had to repeat. Each and every skill learned has a collection of educational applications developed by Leap Learning (www.leaplearning.no), these are used to reinforce and further learning. A comprehensive training guide covering everything micro garden-related was also given to every trainee, this was used on the training program, and also for them to refer back to in the future when needed. 

Entrepreneurship week mixed fun & practical role-playing, real-life selling practice, and usage of our brand new Entrepreneurship Lab!

Week 2 was the start of entrepreneurship training. This week trainees started to be taught how to actually use micro gardening to make money. Our entrepreneurship training is always fun, practical, and aims to get trainees to think critically about business, and themselves. We use a lot of discussion and role-playing to help students learn from each other as well as from us and link everything to the ‘How To Make Money’ newspaper. Always on hand are also 25 entrepreneurship videos and 125 applications each helping trainees learn different principles of business.

Brand New Way To Learn Entrepreneurship

This training allowed us to test a brand new concept. The Entrepreneurship Lab covers a complete curriculum of key business principles and engages students on everything from why and how to start a business, to marketing, controlling money, and creating an action plan. 

The Entrepreneurship Lab engages students in practical, hands-on tasks, and fun role playing designed to equip them with lifelong skills to help them succeed in not only business, but also in full time employment…and life.

In the Lab we have a huge variety of learning materials for students to use including entrepreneurship videos and applications, hands on games, role playing ideas and materials, banners, Dipeo the entrepreneurship board game, and a laptop at research corner.

 The Lab encourages students to reflect on and analyse businesses, their needs, and what they could do to make even more money.

The third and final week of the program was all about bringing everything together. Trainees were put through their paces and made to think and analyse more than ever before. During the week trainees had to put everything they learned into practice on an amazing day of real life selling in Farerfeni market. Before the day they had to plan roles for each team member, record stock and wholesale prices, prepare marketing materials, and make a plan of how to keep customers coming back for more and more…

We are pleased to tell you that this day was absolutely amazing. They set up and managed a stall right in the centre of a busy market, selected a fantastic location, worked well as a team, and sold over 6000GMD worth of products in just 1 hour. Each team member played their role perfectly and deserved the BBQ we would spend the profits on 🙂

Throughout the program, participants were encouraged to think of their own business ideas related to micro gardening. The MyFarm trainers would then give individual advice and support to help guide them. At the end of the training, all participants created their own action plans for the next steps of their business adventures.

A huge variety of business ideas came about, here are some of our favourites. Mot, a trainee from Njau wants to make compost and sell this to local farmers, he would also like to run training programs on how to make compost. The last day of the training saw Mot train 15 guests from the community on how to make compost to give him the real life practice he needs.

Modou Lamin is the head of Reforest The Future, where the training program was held. He would like to train people how to make micro garden tables to help farmers in the rural communities be less seasonal and ensure they can grow crops all year round. Modou wants to market his business by running free training sessions within his own community, then he will set up micro tables at local Lumo’s to get people talking.

Yama is probably the most improved trainee of this program. At the beginning, she was incredibly shy but flourished throughout. She would like to use her micro garden to grow crops which she can then turn into products like soap. Understanding that this may take a while, she will first start by growing nurseries, which will be sold to local women’s gardens.

A program like this cannot be done without partners…and we have worked with two great ones. Firstly ITC and YEP Gambia, who funded and supported the project. Their vision and commitment to support the youth of The Gambia is second to none. We have worked with YEP on several projects before and their brilliant team realised the benefit the micro garden we had at MyFarm could have for others in the country, and have worked with us to spread the word through skills training programs (find YEP here… https://www.yep.gm/ ). The Women’s Initiative Gambia have been instrumental in planning and organising this training program, Isatou Ceesay and her team helped select the location, mobilise the participants and helped so much with the day to day running of the program..

Well done to all the trainees of CRR. We cannot wait to come back in the future and watch your businesses grow 🙂

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