Visit our school

Where are we

Siiboo ECD School is in the rural village call Bakindik in the provinces of the Lower Niumi District on the North Bank. We're in what many would describe as the true Gambia, the village is typical of many you'd find on the North Bank and it's considerably different from what you'll see on the other side of the river in the Kombos. 

Getting to us

Getting to us has become much more convenient in recent years, thanks to the newly surfaced road between the North Bank Road junction and Bakindik and we're now just a 30-minute drive from the Barra ferry terminal.  However, Siiboo ECD is a Nursery School and we close at 12 Noon so on the day of your visit you may need to be up just that little bit earlier.

Visiting the school independently is not only easy but also more cost-effective. However, if you prefer the added security of a guide, rest assured that finding one in or around your hotel should be a straightforward task. For those not staying on the North Bank, a ferry ride is necessary. Providing all three ferries are working then you shouldn't have to wait to long and the crossing takes just under an hour. Alternatively, embrace the local charm by hopping over the wall, strolling along the beach, and boarding a local boat—all of which lead to Barra. If you have a guide, make sure to request a local boat.

Upon reaching Barra, follow the crowds up the road, pass through security, and head into the town center. There, you or your guide can easily hail a taxi to Bakindik. If you're in the mood for food, don't miss the restaurant above the Ferry Ticket office, offering a delightful mix of local cuisine and more familiar options.

If the idea of navigating logistics isn't appealing, you want to take the hassle out of finding a guide and you simply want to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Gambian experience, we can arrange for our experienced guide to meet you at your accommodation. They will accompany you from your hotel to the school and ensure a smooth return to your hotel afterward. Our guide, a dedicated member of our team for the past 10 years, will be delighted to be your guide for your visit to  our school.

I'd strongly advise you to buy all the water you'll need for your morning in Barra as it's highly unlikely bottled water will be available in Bakindik. Also, please be advised that there are no European/British type toilets once you leave Barra so, like your parents said when you were a kid, try before you go! 

At our School

We look forward to welcoming you to our vibrant school! Get ready for a warm welcome from our fantastic head teacher, Albatina Mendy. She'll personally guide you through our charming school, introducing you to our dedicated teaching team. Brace yourself for the sheer joy our students express when they have visitors— it's a rare occasion considering our secluded location, far from the bustling resort areas of Kololi, Kotu, Fajara, Bakau, and others.

Now, if you happen to be of fair complexion, don't be surprised if our littlest learners display some curiosity during your visit. You could very well be the first white person they've ever encountered. Given our school's limited exposure to visitors, it's not uncommon for years to pass without anyone dropping by.

Rest assured, the infectious smiles of our children will light up your day and leave an indelible mark on your heart. Your time with us will quickly transform into a cherished memory, a story to be retold to family and friends with a smile that lingers forever.

Every piece of furniture gracing our school bears the heartwarming touch of generosity, gifted to us by Seascale Primary School, Bookwell, and St Bridget's Primary Schools in Seascale and Egremont, all nestled within the embrace of North West Cumbria, United Kingdom. The essence of our learning environment is intricately woven with the threads of compassion from these schools. Our gratitude knows no bounds for the enduring support received from our local community, a testament to the profound impact of unity and shared commitment.

Once you've left the school it needn't be goodbye. You can stay in touch with all that's happening at the school, watch videos, join in conversations, and support our appeals through our schools dedicated Facebook group. We look forward to reading your posts all about your experience and seeing your pictures too.

Additional Information

Our Guide Isse

For a decade now, our cherished companion on the journey, Isse, has been weaving the fabric of our adventures. Nestled on Jinack Island, his roots run deep into the heart of the Lower Nuimi District, rendering him a living encyclopedia of knowledge. Isse, a paragon of honesty and reliability, goes above and beyond, ensuring that nothing is ever too much trouble for the joy and comfort of those he accompanies. With him, your satisfaction becomes his paramount concern.

Isse's tenacity is matched only by his infectious laughter and undeniable charisma, transforming a great trip into an unforgettable experience. His years of dedicated service make him not just a driver but a cherished member of our travel family.

As for the fee, Isse adheres to a standard, fair charge, while any tips are left entirely to your discretion. Because, in the tapestry of our journeys, Isse's presence is a thread of genuine warmth and care, making every adventure an ode to camaraderie and shared moments.

Gifts for the School

While we deeply value the generosity of those who wish to bring gifts to our school, we kindly request that any offerings be directed towards the school itself rather than the children. 

Though kids universally adore sweets (Minty in The Gambia), we prioritise their health over immediate indulgence, especially considering the importance of maintaining healthy teeth alongside their education. Additionally, to avoid unintended incidents, we discourage the distribution of sweets, as it tends to attract children chasing vehicles, presenting potential safety concerns. 

Instead, if you're inclined to bring a gift, items such as chalk, educational posters, or materials to brighten up our classrooms would be immensely appreciated, contributing to the holistic learning environment we aim to cultivate.

Food & drink

As you bid farewell to Barra, it's important to note that bottled water may not be readily available, so take the opportunity to stock up for your journey. In Bakindik, options for dining and shopping are practically non existent , with scarcity even extending to essentials like bread. However, the restaurant situated above the ferry terminal offers an enticing selection of both local and European dishes at reasonable prices, complete with the convenience of takeaway. Whether you choose to indulge before departure or plan for a midday meal, this spot remains a reliable choice. Additionally, a shop down the street from the Ferry ticket office provides various snacks and fizzy drinks, though options may not be the most economical. 

For those seeking a taste of local flavors, the nearby market presents an opportunity to explore diverse fast food options, including the chance to savor unique proteins such as goat.


After experiencing the warmth and vibrancy of our school in Bakindik, if you feel compelled to contribute to our project financially, your support would mean the world to us. We humbly request that, in the spirit of transparency, you refrain from handing any money directly to individuals in The Gambia, including our dedicated head teacher, teaching team, cook, cleaners, or your guide.

Your generosity can find its purpose through a one-time payment or by setting up a regular monthly donation via bank transfer or standing order. Feel free to reach out using our "Contact Us" form for our bank details.

Every penny you contribute goes directly towards essential school costs—whether it's supporting wages, funding building projects, maintaining facilities, providing learning aids and equipment, supplying uniforms, or ensuring nutritious meals for the children. Each and every contribution, regardless of size, creates a significant impact and plays a crucial role in granting the gift of free education to the little ones in Bakindik.

Consider that a modest commitment of £5 per month (just 16p per day) stretches a long way in The Gambia, making an immeasurable difference. Your support is not just a donation; it's an investment in the dreams and futures of these young minds. Thank you for considering joining us in this meaningful journey.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Colin & Sharon