Fantasy play - signs of the times at Mbollet-ba

Mbollet-ba school has changed greatly thanks to the partnership since 2009. One of the big changes noted by the near-on 100 people who have now volunteered in The Gambia, is that children are starting to enjoy games of imagination, fantasy and role-play. These activities are vital for developing a sense of individuality, for communication skills, and for personal growth. With Salusbury encouragement and guidance, the Gambian staff have worked hard to change the school culture and to encourage children to play creatively in this way. Their skill and effort is yielding results results.  Here's a gallery of pictures to show the changes. 
 
In Years 4-6 we got small groups started doing practical science activities, and then made them report to other class members and present their findings. Becoming an instructor is a new role for children in the Gambian system, but they took well to it and soon it was happening in all the classes. 
 
Four children in one picture had spontaneously started a game of "let's play teachers and classes" and the one in the teacher role was playing at checking their homework. 
 
Elsewhere, a group of children spontaneously went up to a picture Lynne had painted on the school kitchen wall, and used pencils and notebooks donated by Salusbury to start making their own versions of the picture. 
 
All ofthese events showed the kind of creative initiative that is now becoming normal for the Mbollet-ba pupils. Three years ago on our first visit we found nothing like this. Moments like these made our recent visit a very happy one.