After a four year gap, Marlborough to welcome visitors from Gambia
A group from Gunjur, Marlborough’s link village in The Gambia, is to visit the town next month.
wo young women and three men will be the guests of the Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) for a four week visit to introduce them to the Marlborough area and our way of life.
One of the visitors teaches at the pre-school now run in Gunjur by the development organisation set up there by MBG. The pre-school has proved so successful and popular with parents that there are now five pre-schools in this ‘village’ - with a population of about eighteen thousand people.
The group will be led by Baboucar Touray – known to everyone as Boyo – who was a member of the first group of Gunjurians to come to Marlborough in 1986. He then returned here twice to study refrigeration engineering, which has been the basis for his successful career.
The group will spend a day at the College. They will have three days with St John’s School – which will include going on a geography field trip to Lulworth with St John’s students.
They will be here for MBG’s Summer Garden Party in the grounds of the Master’s house at the College (Sunday, 26 June), and for the Jazz Festival.
This visit is especially good news for MBG as no exchange visitors have been granted visas to visit Marlborough for the past four years - although two Gunjur community leaders were able to come here in autumn 2009. This gap was due to the general tightening up on visas for visitors to Britain from outside Europe.
It is still impossible to get visas for Gambians to come here for training or work experience.
Dr Nick Maurice, a founder of MBG and now its president told Marlborough News Online: “I am thrilled that we shall be welcoming friends from Marlborough’s link community of Gunjur in The Gambia again to bring the wider world to the streets, schools and homes of people in Marlborough and Wiltshire – and to repay in part the wonderful hospitality that more than eight hundred people from Marlborough have received in Gunjur.”
In Gunjur, 'Doctor Nick' is stopped by an old friend - passing on the latest gossip.