Education has always been a major priority for the village and the Link. It is seen as the best way for young pople and the community as a whole to progress and develop. Hence, the emphasis from
day one on supporting the Day Care Centre and more recently sponsoring 35 children to enable them to attend the local school at nearby Kaiaf.
Increasingly, However, the Link is also focussing on working with the village to develop a number of sustainable community enterprises which will provide the village with opportunity to generate
income and provide employment. These include:
Improving health in the village has also been a priority since the early days of the Link. Funding has been provided for the salary of a Primary Health Care worker, Lamin Sanneh, who has received
extensive training during his 15 years in the role.
- The Link has provided medicines for use in the Centre and Lamin visits and treats patients in their compounds as well.
- Malaria - Every person in the village – men, women and children have been supplied with a bednet. As a result there has been a noticeable decline in the incidence of malaria. The bednets are
replaced or repaired as necessary.
- The money for a new secure storage cabinet was donated by Yate Rotary Club.
- Recently, the Primary Health Centre has also become a pharmacy serving he needs of patients in Genieri as well as those referred from a new doctor's surgery in nearby Kaiaf. The village is hoping
that this enterprise will provide paid employment for a second person at the Centre currently Buba Sanneh.
Genieri is a rural community. The main crops are rice and groundnuts (or peanuts as we know them in the UK). These crops are generally sold wholesale each year. To provide a direct souce of food
for the village and to improve the diet generally, the Link has worked with the village for many years to establish extensive vegetable gardens which are planeted and maintained by the women when
they are not producing the rice harvest.
- A fully fenced garden area has been set up on fertile ground near the village. In the garden, which is about the size of a football pitch, five wells have been sunk and the ground
divided into plots for the families of the villagers.
- A Garden Caretaker and a Garden Manager have also been employed by the Link to help protect the crops from animals and to organise the planting each year. The Garden Manager, Sulayman Sanneh, has
just completed a years training at the Gambian Agricultural College paid for by the Link.
- Fencing, tools and seeds are regularly provided by the Link and the village makes use of its tractor, bought with a subsidised loan from the World Bank ten years ago, to clear the ground
- The gardeners have completed a course on pest and disease control, organised by the Department of Agriculture of The Gambia and paid for by the Link.
- A market stall was built on the main road which passes near to Genieri.It is hoped that, as the gardens become more productive, there will be a surplus of produce to sell on the market
In 2013 a micro loan programme was established. Using the well developed micro finanacing model which has been successfully used in many parts of the world, whereby individuals are loaned a
small amount of money, interest free, which they can use to establish a small business, generate and income and repay the loan.
- 12 women in Genieri were indivdually selected from over 70m applicants to receive approximately £20 to £30 as an interest free loan to be repaid within 12 months.
- Businesses included buying and selling ingredients for cooking, sewing bed linen, grinding peanuts with a mechanical grinder and selling cooked food.
- The village now manages this project which is now in its fourth round of loans.
Technological change is happening rapidly in The Gambia and in 2015 the village asked the Link for help in creating a new income generating project in the village, namely the purchase of a
satellite TV which they could ude to charge people in the wider area to watch satellite programmes, in particular, premiership football matches!
- With the support of an anonymous donor the Link purchased a satelite contract, TV and generator to install in the Day Care Centre.
- The village chose Omar Sanneh to organise the showing of programmes and the collection of entrance fees in return for a small salary.
- Matches are shown every week and people come from local villages to watch. Cartoons are also shown to children at the Day Care Centre on Thursdays and Fridays.
There is no mains electricity in the village and only a few solar panels in the wealthier compounds. With the generous financial help of Yate and District Rotary Club who funded the entire
project, the Link has introduced a solar powered light bulb into each compound in the village.
- A Gambian-based agency CommAfrique provided the bulbs and panels as well as co-ordinating the installation.
- Solar lights are safer, cleaner and cheaper than candles. They will also enable youngsters to do their homework more easily in the evenings and enable other activities to take place.
- Each compound makes a small monthly payment to a village fund which will eventually provide funds for replacement bulbs and possibly more bulbs over time.
- Genieri has chosen Buba Manneh to collect the monthly payments and oversee this project in return for a small salary.