Malick Ndimballand

Malick Ndimballand

I am Malick Ndimballand, 27 years old and a Gambian nationality.  I am a student of the University of The Gambia enrolled in the school of Arts and Sciences, Division of Humanity and Social sciences, Bachelor’s degree in Development studies. I am very grateful to the Academy for Academic foundation and the entire board who has given me this great opportunity to be part of this scholarship. I have always loved academic and this scholarship will help me to continue to focus on my academic work as a student to achieve my goals. It will have been very difficult without AforA foundation’s support and this scholarship will be in proper use and it will enable me to give back to my community and country in a more productive way. Thank you and the entire AforA foundation that has changed the life of many Gambian Youths in the academic arena.

Spring semester 2018:

As far as academic achievements are concerned, 2018/2019 is one of my best moment in the University of The Gambia. This is because the most important burden( high tuition fees) is taken off by A for A foundation, which came at a very critical moment in my academic career. Even before the scholarship I was a very determined student despite the financial difficulties I never gave up but the scholarship awarded to me by A for A has force me to double up my efforts to go higher above minimum 2.0 GPA as stated in the A for A’s scholarship agreement signed. Currently my GPA is above 3.80 which is part of the achievements. I was able to register courses on time and attend lectures as usual without fear of deferring for next semester due to financial constraints. I believed that these are other major achievements in 2019 academic year

Fall semester 2018:

As far as academic is concerned, to be more specific for this 2018, there are two great achievement made. The first achievement was that, all the 6 courses I did first semester 2018 I got them credit despite the hardship and struggle to finance my tuition fee before I got a scholarship this semester. The second achievement was getting a scholarship from A for A foundation. Scholarship was the biggest challenge I ever face since I started the University and without which it will have been impossible to come for this semester because I planned to defer until anytime a got one. Therefore I considered my greatest achievement be the scholarship of AfoA which has catapulted me to another level.

Spring semester 2019:

As far as academic achievements are concerned, 2018/2019 is one of my best moment in the University of The Gambia. This is because the most important burden( high tuition fees) is taken off by A for A foundation, which came at a very critical moment in my academic career. Even before the scholarship I was a very determined student despite the financial difficulties I never gave up but the scholarship awarded to me by A for A has force me to double up my efforts to go higher above minimum 2.0 GPA as stated in the A for A’s scholarship agreement signed. Currently my GPA is above 3.80 which is part of the achievements. I was able to register courses on time and attend lectures as usual without fear of deferring for next semester due to financial constraints. I believed that these are other major achievements in 2019 academic year

Fall semester 2019:

The year of 2019 has been a very interesting and really interactive as far as academic is concerned. At the start of the January semester 2019, I set an objective or a goal for myself and I work very hard toward achieving that goal. This goal was to get “A” grade in all the six (6) courses I registered. This was not easy for me but the simple reason was to keep up my GPA floating and the target was to have nothing less than a GPA of 3.70 and I finally keep a high GPA of 3.880 which was not bad at all. I believed that this is also above the requirement for the continuity of the scholarship agreement too. This was the greatest achievement so far but this was possible because AforA help me to register on time and next was to focus better on my lectures. However, there where challenges in trying achieved this. The problem of class size is one of the issues that students of the university of the Gambia especially Brikama campus do face all the time. The classes are overcrowded and lecturers do not use sound system for everyone to hear properly. Another challenge is the lack of enough Lecturers especially this semester in our development unit, one lecturer taking 4 to 6 courses alone with each a class size of approximately 50 or more students which is definitely not telling well in the university. Access to proper and quality learning materials. Poor and limited connectivity (internet facilities) to do my assignments and research, all these are constraints I face on daily basic.

Spring semester 2020:

As usual, with the help of AforA in this 2020 I was able to registered my courses on time and start lecture without having to worry about class size. The same goes to the online classes introduced now, every course is registered and lectures continue.

The most important challenge for the 2020 is the impact of the Covid-19. It is not business as usual, the physical class is shifted to distance learning. Creating many peoblem such as lack of access to learning material, group discussion, additional cost, and interaction with the lecturers. These has affected every student in one way or the other.

Summer 2020

I grow up in a rural Gambia ( in a village), where the family depend on small scale farming for survival and very little to sell due to low investment in agriculture because of lack of the financial muscles. It has never been so easy working manually in farms, is a very hard labour. The most critical period in rural Gambia for the farmers is from August to around December the harvesting period where some families will not have food to eat and go to sleep hungry with women and children, yet, they struggle daily under the hot sun and under the heavy rain working with empty stomach, and hoping for better harvest. This difficult period we eat little food and drink plenty water to keep the stomach and that has been the norm. I live this life for decades. However, is a painful experience but this has never stopped my parents from sending their children to school. Unfortunately some brothers and sisters dropped out of school and I was the only lucky child who finished high school and go to college and because I have great passion for education, I proceeded to the University of The Gambia to further my educational dream and now am in my final year of studies. When ever school closes during the raining season(summer) I do go and give a helping hand in the farms. Indeed, financing my university was very challenging but I have to thank my family and Academy for Academics (AforA) for the inflicting support, I am highly indebted

Report November 2020

The auditing yesterday was okay which means all my courses are completed according to the faculty officer Ms Fatou Njie.

I’m doing my internship at Future In Our Hands The Gambia (FIOHTG) at the Community Development Unit but for the past month I started my internship, the Community Development Unit was not having much activities due to the Covid-19 but now we have started some activities.

The Community Development Unit has started last week on Civic education sensitization on voter registration, Presidential, Parliamentary, and Council elections as well as democracy and rule of law. The activity is a five day sensitization to be carried out simultaneously in ten communities in Central River Region, Upper River Region and North Bank Region respectively, with two villages per day, in collaboration with Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials in the region.This is a very powerful empowerment tool that prepares the electorates by enabling them make firm decision, that would pave the way for a sustainable future. Currently I went with the team at Central River Region on this voters education and we are expecting to go back on this coming Wednesday 18th November. This is important because many people in the rural communities don’t get registered which results to low voters turnout and 2021 is an election year in the Gambia and this sensitisation also includes holding their representatives accountable especially the National Assembly members for rejecting the 2020 draft constitution as a result there maybe no refarandum if the draft is not bring back.

 

Graduation ceremony February 2021

First of all, I would like to express great appreciation on behalf of all those luckily and financially sponsored by AforA. No appreciation is enough for great kindness. But here, I still want to thank you all for your kindness, which has provided us with hope and courage to live a better life. Your kindness means a lot to me, as great as a mountain. The only thing I can do to reward your kindness is to study hard.
One of my greatest dreams has been to earn a bachelor’s degree in development studies at The University of The Gambia, and this would never have been possible by now without a generous donor like AforA awarding a scholarship that covers my tuition fees. I cannot thank you enough for giving me the financial support that will enable me to keep pursuing my academic career. I only hope that one day I can make meaningful contributions to the educational pursuits of future students just as you have made my dream a reality through this scholarship.
I have great passion to acquire knowledge and when I started the university my parents were desperate and confuse as to how they will raise such an amount of money when I told them the actual amount for my program of study. They are poor subsistence farmers who hardly put food on the table all year round, to them it was never possible for me to complete this degree because is too expensive. I was so determined and took the risk to start with the little saving I was having in 2016/2017 academic year. I manage with the family until 2018/2019 academic year where I have nothing with the family to continue paying because I was having so many arrears and the university did not allow me to continue without paying my arrears. I have to go back to the village with parents for farming, I was desperate and almost give up because I wrote so many applications in this country but to no avail. I was so sad and parents could not understand, the only thing they could see was for me to go back for teaching to raise some money, not knowing that was never possible to finance university education. I was thinking to defer my university education and leave this country to search for greener pasture and later to further my education.
In the midst of this dilemma, AforA came to rescue me from all wrong alternatives because leaving this country was never the best. I was in the farm when I received message from Margareta Danelius and I could not believe what I show. I have to contact her to confirm before letting my parent know. I was so glad and parents were equally very happy as well. This was a dream come through that I will never forget.
 Here I am today completed my BA in Development Studies (Cum Laude) which is a big achievement. Words cannot express how delighted I am today with parents. My parents are so proud and grateful to AforA for giving their son a chance to realized his potential. They are all saying thank you.
Thank you AforA for the good work and benevolent gesture to Gambia students from the unprivileged families to reach their educational goals. On behalf of all AforA continuing and graduates we are honor and proud.
May 2021
Life goes as usual despite the present of Covid-19 in the Gambia though very small in number and I hope very thing will go fine soon in sweden too.
However, I completed my six(6) months intensive internship at Future In Our Hands The Gambia (FIOHTG) in their community development unit in which I wrote my comprehensive report. It was a great learning experience and I enjoyed the period I spend with them. The experience and practical knowledge gain will be of great use in the future. I hope to work with FIOHTG in the future.  The internship ended on the 30th of March, 2021.
On the 06th April, 2021 I got a three months contract at International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as an Reintegration Assistant for return migrants in the Gambia and currently I’m posted at IOM new sub-office in Basse.

April 2022

My current living and family situation has improved greatly since after graduation from University of the Gambia. I am currently able to take care of the family basic needs despite the high dependency and support younger once educational needs. As a teacher by profession, because of my passion for community development I diverted to study development studies in order to work with either government or nongovernmental organizations in the efforts for poverty alleviation. After graduation from my bachelor’s, I applied for an internship to have work experience in community development. I did my internship in a Swedish-based NGO called Future In Our Hands The Gambia (FIOHTG) in their Community Development Unit for six months from October 2020 to April 2021. During that time a go to various rural communities to support in the implementation of activities and programs. In my last month in FIOHTG, I applied to International Organizations for Migration a UN agency leading in the field migration as Reintegration Assistant under the project Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration. I work with returning migrants and in some cases with their communities for a community based project. Working with communities has been very great and amazing geared towards sustainable reintegration. I am very grateful for the foundation support for sponsorships. As scholars of the foundation it will be great to continue the foundation in the Gambia and I am willing to join the struggle to see that we have A for A Gambia and to continue lobbying fund to support poor Gambian students. The essence of been educated is to able make impact and effect change