When Alagie Ndow was only nine, his parents divorced leaving him to be looked after by his aunt who lived in a poor, remote village. As he struggled to complete his secondary education, Alagie connected with various volunteer service programs that not only helped him to find his way, they inspired him to become a teacher. In 2016, he founded the Inspiring Young-Stars, a Gambian non-profit focused on transforming the lives of children through education and service, and created a library that serves as a community service haven for youth.
Today, this dynamic leader, social entrepreneur and education champion is a Full Circle Learning Country Coordinator for The Gambia where he works with children, schools and the community-at-large to offer training and mentorship while developing his own community service programs. Believing that education is the best means of breaking the cycle of poverty for children, he has created a new project that helps young people become environmental agents of change within their schools and communities.
Situated in the western region of The Gambia, this environmental leadership service program challenges junior and secondary school students to create an equitable future for all while facing the complex challenges presented by climate change. With the help of The Pollination Project, fifty students from four secondary schools along with ten youth leaders from the community library, work in collaboration to develop a deeper understanding of their environment, a sense of stewardship, and better nutritional habits. In addition, they work to enhance their academic abilities and gain vocational skills that will allow them to create possibilities and embrace opportunities in the future.
“I want to say thank you to The Pollination Project for the wonderful service and support with this program. This work strengthens character and invites participants to apply their creativity to the development of agricultural innovations and more. It teaches valuable life skills and will help a new generation of young leaders to serve their schools, local communities and the global community as well,” said Alagie.
One component of the program serves as both an educational tool and a bridge to many areas of the community, the micro-gardening project. This part of the program brings children from the community library together with youth volunteers and Charter School students in the hopes of mastering the ability to create a thriving vegetable and crop producing garden. It not only provides hands-on training and life skills, it serves as a bridge for connection and understanding between youth and community elders.
“In February 2016, during my inaugural speech for The Inspiring-Young Stars, I promised to increase educational and community service opportunities for youth, especially children and girls. I promised to be a great inspiration and to inject trust in the heart of my community. Since then, youth participation and community service have increased significantly. Today our organization has become a key player in supporting thousands of youth and women across the region,” Alagie stated.
As Alagie Ndow continues to focus his heart and passion on creating educational and community service opportunities for youth, he has the ability to create true change for these young people, this community and all those around the world.