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This volunteer project in the Gambia is all about doing a real job and making a difference. Using your business skills, you will spend a month working with local businesses in the tourism industry, sharing your knowledge and experience with them. You won’t fail to be captivated by the magnificent country and warm people you will meet
Situated on the western coast of Africa, the Gambia is the continent’s smallest country. It is hard to believe that a country just 6 hours from Europe is actually one of the world’s poorest, with over half of the 1.7 million population living below the poverty line, surviving on less than $1 per day. Despite the economic hardships, the nation has been nicknamed ‘the smiling coast’ on account of the friendliness and hospitality of the people. This, combined with the fabulous climate, colourful towns and abundance of bird and wildlife, have made the Gambia an ever more popular tourist destination.
This volunteer project is about helping to develop their tourist industry, whilst at the same time ensuring that as much as possible, the tourist dollar remains in the country. Working with the NGO ASSET (The Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism) you will help to support local tourism businesses ranging from market vendors to tourist guides to small accommodation owners. Spending anything from 2 – 12 weeks, the work you do will depend very much on your experience and where your skills are most suited. You might be giving hands on support to fruit sellers at the market, helping a tourist guiding outfit with their book keeping, or advising a tour company on how best to market themselves. If you possess any IT skills, you might be able to help some of these businesses establish an on-line presence. You may also see yourself helping out at eco tourism and community tourism resorts
In your time off from working, you will want to get out and about to explore the country as a tourist. Included in the price of this trip is a guided tour of the capital city, Banjul and a weekend hike You might also consider a boat trip on the Gambian River to look for the resident hippopotami, a visit to the sacred Kachikally crocodile pool, or a trip to the beautiful and unspoilt beaches.
This experience is all about doing a real job and making a difference. It is not some touchy feely project, but an initiative that needs practical skills and positive attitudes! Any skills relating to business and marketing are particularly useful.
You will be supported both locally and back in the UK before, during and after your experience to ensure that both you and ASSET get the most out of your trip. The average age of volunteers on this project tends to be 35 – 65, although if you are younger or older than this you are still very welcome!
Participants are expected to work 5 days a week, but you do get time off at the weekends to explore the local area, and relax. Included in the price is one weekend hike and a city tour, but there’s nothing stopping you getting out and about and exploring. Given that you will be working with tourist businesses, you will get the unique opportunity to see the industry both as an insider and as a visitor!
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.