Providing Reading Resources to Gambian Children

Abooku is a UK charity established for the advancement of education of young people and adults in The Gambia through the dissemination of educational learning resources and training.

A Gambian Child trialling the Baobab Reading Scheme, a project from Abooku

Children learning phonics, but what do they have to read afterwards?



Most Gambians are multi-lingual speaking a variety of languages including Wolof, Mandinka, Fula and Jola. The official language for education, the legal system and business and communication is English. Most children start their Lower Basic Education at 7 years old and the only language used in school is English.


The use of Jolly Phonics and a related scheme called SEGRA in The Gambia has created a large number of early and young readers. These readers, especially in the rural areas only have limited access to reading materials. Little of the limited independent reading material refers to customs and places known to them and are matched with their progress on the phonics schemes.


Gambian schools/teachers do not always have the capacity to provide children with relevant, appropriate and necessary reading material. Abooku aims to disseminate such reading material which has been originally developed in UK but will be shared and developed with Gambian teachers as a capacity building process.

These materials will be locally printed with a simple format, basically black and white line drawings and text on sheets of A4 photocopy paper and folded into booklets. This is to allow children to take them home to practice and develop reading skills learnt and to foster a love of reading for pleasure.

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