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The Watson Project.

In 2011 we were given a donation to set up gambians in some kind of business so that they could earn money for themselves.  This was to be called "The Watson Project".  The villagers at Bafaluto decided that they wanted a workshop set up that would be able to supply school uniforms at affordable prices.  This would need land to be able to build our own workshop.
At the same time we were setting up small projects like Batik/Tie & Dye and Soap making in individual compounds
This trip we returned to Brikama and Bafaloto with proposals for 3 sites for the workshop. However after site visits and meetings with large numbers of the communities it was obvious that there differences of opinion within the village groups and we would have to re-think the whole project.
Following further discussions with members of the Link Committee and Saidy family it was decided to abandon the idea of a workshop on the proposed land sites. A second concern was the need to actively seek further sponsorship and involvement from additional people.  There was a danger of the project running out of funds before machinery and materials were bought.
The soap making project is a great success. It needs little set up money and works well in family compounds. The area of Lamin now has its own soap making project supported by Maimuna and her mother-in-law.
We are told that batik and tie dye is still flourishing in Bafaloto and in Brikama they have purchased the materials and done some market research but production has not started. They have been given two months to start or the materials will be returned to the Link Committee.
With the agreement  of the sponsors we will now look to providing support for small projects operating in compounds. The idea of school uniforms has already been seized by one woman in Brikama who now has a flourishing business with no help from us. We could support individual efforts that are researched and costed with proposals passed to us by the Link Committee.
Although disappointed by the reactions of the villagers we feel that small projects will be more manageable and the money available will be well invested in the future of villagers other than Bafaloto.

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