Emily Brincka writes:
Sixteen months ago, I met Bintu while running across The Gambia during The Gambia’s “Bush to Beach Marathon”. While running, Bintu told me that she wants to become President of The Gambia one day. Bintu is one of many young men and women in The Gambia with big dreams and aspirations for their future. Over the course of my Peace Corps service, I came to realize that the future leaders of The Gambia will include many young men and women like Bintu. However, my time living in The Gambia has shown me a harsh reality for many of these talented youth. Too many Gambian children see their education ended early, as a result of family or financial hardship, be it financial strain, or the death or sickness of another family member. Fortunately, we have the power to prevent this fate, by providing financial support so that when the unexpected happens, a child can stay in school.
Sixteen months may have passed since I first met Bintu, but I still think every day about young women like her, and hundreds of other youths I worked with in The Gambia. I want to ensure that these young men and women can continue their education, and achieve their goals of becoming the future leaders of The Gambia.