“I established the museum in 2008 in order to preserve and conserve local artifacts, natural history and traditional culture,” said Mr Lamin Bojang, the proprietor.
The young Gambian however lamented that he had been struggling to sustain the museum.
He explained: “Due to financial difficulties I faced in completing my project, I decided to meet the manager of Footsteps Eco Lodge, David White, and explained to him what I am doing in the community and what I am trying to bring to the local people. He welcomed my idea and employed me as a freelance bird watcher and a nature worker. I started gathering money for my project. I was able to roof the museum building with corrugated iron sheets.
“Then, David’s girlfriend visited the museum and she developed empathy and willingness to support me by introducing the museum to the Norwegian couple who gave the project D90,000. David too introduced the project to Jiki Foundation of Holland, a donor organisation for local initiatives in third world countries. The support I received from these people will contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the natives of Gunjur. It has helped connect local people with students from Norway to come together, learn, interact with each other and work voluntarily in fencing the project.”
A diploma graduate in rural community development, Lamin believes that the Museum would create job opportunities and a market outlet for the people of Gunjur.
“It will help preserve the traditional and historical records of our village and in the process complement government’s effort towards tourism development,” he added.
Marcel Winting of Jiki foundation said: “When we visited Lamin’s home and his project site we have seen the enthusiasm of what he is trying to do and what he is trying to bring to the local community. We find it necessary to support this project which is in line with our target groups or people who are trying to bring development in their community or communities. It is why we support this project.”
Also speaking, the alkalo of Santangba, Gunjur, described the museum as an important project. “I am sure it will be a learning centre for our young people,” he added, heaping praises on Lamin Bojang for the initiative.
By Alagie Manneh]]>