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®Savannah Academy is a proposal for a school in the hinterlands of our ROP nations to afford rural citizens an opportunity to educate their children and to continue nurturing them in the family and community setting.

Most families have had to contend with the prospect of sending their children to schools whose quality increases with distance from family and community. More often than not, these far away schools do not offer the expectant or perceived quality education (due mainly to high student-teacher ratios), and they contribute to the often malignant migration of rural children. This takes away from the cohesive family structures in the rural areas and they nurture a culture of dependence on government or NGOs. It denies the family farm and the child, much needed development opportunity.

The idea of Savannah Academy is to offer a comprehensive 12-grade education and afford rural families the opportunity to develop their children and benefit from their assistance at the family farm. The Academy will emphasize character development as well as academic growth in the arts and sciences.

  • We will hire the best teachers possible.

  • We will design a curriculum unique to the needs of the rural child and is tailored to the growth of the total child.

  • We will limit student-teacher ratio to a level most conducive to healthful learning without affecting comprehension by all students.

  • We will divide our student body between day and boarding students to encourage students’ participation on family farms.

  • We will offer outdoor activity that encourage volunteerism, discovery, and collaborative work and play among students.

Savannah Academy will be a Private Non-Profit school and therefore will afford the most rural families an opportunity at a high quality of education without sacrificing family cohesion and growth.

The construction of the Academy and attendant facilities will rely heavily on renewable sources of energy, reuse of non-biodegradable material that will otherwise go to landfills, and eco-friendly methods of construction. We will seek the assistance and partnership of sustainable development agencies, institutions, and desiring individuals.

Savannah Academy Ophthalmology Club (SOC)

The Ophthalmology Club is a pre-professional community of Academy students who wish to continue further study in the area of health and particularly vision health or who have more than casual interest in that area of life. The students of SOC will have an opportunity to shadow visiting ophthalmic surgeons and other practitioners in the area of vision health. They will assist in the operating room as well as patient intake and they will form the backbone of post-operative care for the SEVINK Vision Institute.

At the beginning of their Senior year in the Academy, students will have an option to choose SOC and their graduation requirements will include a work-study program at community health centers and at the SEVINK Vision Institute. When they choose the Institute for this project, the supervision and evaluation of their performance will come under the purview of SEVINK‘s semi-autonomous administration. They will have the opportunity to offset or defray some of the unique costs of their education and training as well as access to opportunity for continued scholarship for research or further training in the ophthalmic sciences throughout the world.

We plan to develop the SEVINK Vision Institute so that training and continued research beyond high school can be conducted on any of the Savannah Academy campuses anywhere in our ROP. This we believe will augment the values in The GDP’s mission and help the community’s economic growth. The link between Savannah Academy and the both the SOC and the Sustainable Development Club (DECK) also nurtures the symbiotic relationship among the three signature projects of The GDP.

®Deyda Hydara Sustainable Development Club (DECK)

In honor of one of the most progressive citizens of Gambia and co-founder of The Point Newspaper who was assassinated on the anniversary of his newspaper’s founding, we look forward to a student club at Savannah Academy in Deyda’s name. The idea, along the lines of the Ophthalmology Club, is for junior and senior students of Savanna Academy to design and complete a project of their choice and in collaboration with the Academy community. This to encourage responsibility, industry, innovation, and civic participation in the area of sustainable development and economic growth calculus. The project will be a requirement for graduation and will be completed in one month to culminate in a presentation to the entire Academy assembly.

Students will be paired with an academy councilor, 5 or more students to a team and emphasis will be placed on teamwork and collaborative industry. This will help in preparing our students for collegial work and civic participation in their university and professional communities.

The GDP board of Directors will work with our partners and local industry to develop this program further.

Here is a preliminary idea of the Savannah Academy Campus:

savannaacademycampussketch2Thank you for visiting. Come again and grow with us.

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