Kairoh Garden guesthouses in The Gambia are more than just special local accommodations for people who stay in The Gambia for a short or longer period of time. The organization team at Kairoh Garden also provides customized programs for groups who want to spend a special week or weeks in The Gambia. The purpose of such a stay can be very diverse: gaining learning experiences on various themes, offering inspiration to special professional groups, organizing knowledge and experience exchange between colleagues and students in Europe and Gambia, celebrating a festive event in a special way, working visit to projects, a special workshop, etc. It is often groups that also work or study with each other in Europe, and so such a stay in The Gambia also offers a ‘boost’ to the development of the group or team and it provides a common frame of reference for further cooperation. Because the guesthouses are local accommodations, guests are aware that they are in an African society. This gives an extra boost to the program, much more than if the guests were to stay in the tourist area of The Gambia.
Such a week is compiled in close consultation with the visiting organization. Based on the (learning) goals and themes we organize meetings, conferences, project visits and (cultural) activities. We use the qualities of the visiting organization so that it really becomes a week of their own. We start from co-creation and use our ideas, insights, experiences and networks to develop activities. And of course we take care of the logistics organization such as transport, accommodation, etc.
The following phases are usually followed step by step:
1. Orientation on (learning) goals and themes: oral discussion in the Netherlands
2. Introduction to the target group: presentation of Kairoh Garden and further introduction to wishes from the target group.
3. 1st phase elaboration of the program: orientation on the theme in The Gambia: the search for experiences, organizations, projects and people who could be part of the program. Sometimes the requesting organization sends scouts to Gambia to do this preparation with us. That is a particularly suitable way to work in co-creation.
4. 1st proposal for the program and its budget. Discuss this (verbally or by e-mail) with the client and possibly also with the target group.
5. Implementation of definitive program: approaching people, projects and organizations in The Gambia and discussing the goals to be achieved.
6. Organize, coordinate and supervise the week (or weeks) in which there is room for interim program adjustments.
7. De-briefing client and Gambian partners.
Examples of organized custom programs
Personal Leadership Development
Together with the Dutch organization Newshoestoday, we organized a week for 3 years for the part-time MBA students of TiasNimbas (business school Universiteit van Tilburg). Every year the students selected a theme that was of interest to them. For example, we have organized weeks around education, microcredit and agriculture. The students start in Tanjeh and then travel to Kuntaur where most of the week is spent working on projects and personal learning activities. This process has recently also been offered as an open registration. See for http://www.changetrek.nl/NL/vraag_westafrica.html
Inspirational week Philosophical Education
For a large school community in Zeeland, weeks were organized in which primary school principals and teachers were inspired by the way in which various religions and tribes with their own values and traditions live, work, learn and live together.
Celebration and professional exchange
For a management consultancy firm that wanted to celebrate their 20th anniversary in a special way, we designed a week in which celebrating, commemorating and professional knowledge exchange were the common thread. The central theme was leadership and leadership development. We organized meetings with various types of Gambian managers and set up a round table conference with fellow institutions in The Gambia in which mutual exchange of knowledge was central. A program has been set up for the office’s administrative unit for 20 Gambian children on career choices: excursions followed by incorporation of experience in art, sports and games programs.
3 families, 6 adults and 8 children between 8 and 15: if we could make a fun and exciting trip for 10 days there. We did that and we enjoyed it. The children spent a day in a Gambian school desk while the parents spent a day out with a Gambian. We also went to the interior where we organized various meetings and activities for this diverse group.