P2P The Gambia – Our Story…

Over the last decade, we have relentlessly worked to bring innovation to the way our subjects are taught at UG, PGT and PGR levels, by systematically planning and employing research informed T&L practices, by engaging students in our own research and by devising new L&T techniques in partnership with destinations’ communities, such as the Peer2Peer (P2P) Capacity Building through Niche Tourism Initiative.

In 2007, Prof. Marina Novelli developed ‘the Peer2Peer Capacity Building Initiative’ (P2P) – within the Destination Niche Tourism (UG – L6 20 CATS) module, in response to the need of exposing our students to the dynamics of sustainable tourism in the developing world and understand the complexities of sustainable development practices in an African context. She chose The Gambia for ease of access and P2P was developed as broadly encompassing the structured exchange of knowledge and experiences between participants from SASM-UoB and sponsored participants from the Gambian locality, where the module is delivered. The cross-cultural exchange and learning experience emerging from the collaboration between SASM-UoB students and Gambian participants has led to an enhanced understanding and acquisition of technical skills otherwise not achievable in a traditional learning environment. Through the P2P, international students are inspired by working with local Gambian participants to realise a real life project.

P2P has provided significant impacts at destination level (watch P2P The Gambia  film) in line with the UoB commitment to widening participation and sustainable development in its broader meanings. Over the past 10 years a number of projects have become community based tourism products in their own right such as Turtle SOS The Gambia (see description below).

P2P was also instrumental in facilitating the reach and impact of another UoB initiative called Football4Peace International (F4P) into The Gambia (watch the F4P The Gambia film) scaling up the impact of P2P and the UoB involvement in The Gambia, which saw some exceptional developments in the academic year 2014/15, with Turtle SoS the Gambia and F4P The Gambia being just two examples.

Since 2007, besides 170 UoB students, over 100 Gambian participants and some 600 young learners have benefited from the P2P and the F4P initiatives, by being exposed to learning opportunity through which they acquired knowledge, skills and values associated with sustainable tourism and sport coaching, otherwise not available to them – ‘The value and impact that the P2P and F4P capacity building experiences has brought to the locality are far reaching into the community and go beyond tourism development’ (Geri Mitchell – Sandele Eco-retreat and Learning Centre, Kartong, The Gambia).

The value of P2P has been also recognised by UN World Tourism Organisation and featured in the recent UN WTO Global Report on The transformative power of tourism: a paradigm shift towards a more responsible traveller .

Turtle SOS The Gambia – a story of fun, friendship and a better future for communities living along the People’s Coast and turtles’ nesting in The Gambia…

Turtle SOS The Gambia is a project emerging from the collaboration between Sandele Eco-retreat and Learning Centre (Kartong), communities’ members from the Peoples’ Coast (Southern Gambia) and the School of Sport and Service Management (SASM) of the University of Brighton.

The activities showcased in the video: have been supported by SASM-ECHO grant (2015), UoB students’ fundraising following their 2014 and 2015 Peer2Peer Capacity Building through Tourism field work as well as generous donation from our Turtle SOS The Gambia Facebook page followers. The academic year 2014/15 has seen one of the greatest results of the P2P International initiative. What has been achieved so far is the result of the collaboration of 35 volunteers, 32 of which from the Gambia, who have come together in the name of sea turtles’ conservation and community-based eco-tourism development.

Join us at the School of Sport and Service Management – University of Brighton in making destinations a better place to live in and travel to! Many of our students have over the years been able to visit, study, undertake their study placement and volunteer on our projects…

Turtle SOS The Gambia is an example of how we engage with the world out there. This project is located on the Peoples’ Coast (Southern Gambia) with its pilot being hosted at Sandele Eco-retreat and Learning Centre in Kartong.

You can support the Turtle SOS The Gambia via JustGiving – please indicate that you wish to donate towards this project by using the word ‘Turtle’.