Acting and thinking as equals
In The Swallow, we like everybody to be equal, whether pupil, teacher, student-teacher, ancillary staff, coordinator or parent. We are not showing that one is better or higher than another. We are eating out of one bowl if possible, joining all the work together. And nobody is above the law. Everybody with positive ideas is welcome to make a contribution at The Swallow. We like all at The Swallow to belong to our family.
Special attention in The Swallow goes to gender equality. The Gambia has mainly traditional cultures, where there is no equality between men and women. The start of this attention is already at registration of new intakes, with extra places for girls. The coordinator is a woman, important as a role model for all girls and boys! A male teacher can be teaching cooking and a female the sports. Children are encouraged to choose what they are interested in, not what is traditionally meant for them. Community jobs are to be done at The Swallow: everybody has to help! Boys and girls are joining together in watering flowers, cleaning dishes, sweeping floors,… it is a daily struggle with children and staff, as all of them are used to do different. Girls are extra stimulated to take up roles in community life. We teach them to be leaders (from their class-crossed teams), to hold meetings (with team leaders), to speak in public (during presentation time).
We like curious children in The Swallow. We like them to ask questions, to find out information, to be interested in other people, cultures, behaviors… That is why we are bringing in as much information as possible. We show the children that everybody has capacities. It doesn’t matter whether you have been to school or not, whether you are young or old, whether you are a Gambian or a foreigner… Everybody willing to respect himself and others, can make the best out of his life.