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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Students take to their bikes for Gambia

Staff and students at Birmingham’s Newman University are taking to their bikes to raise money for education projects and schools in the Gambia.

The eight-strong team is being sponsored to cycle 210 miles – the distance between Gambia’s West and East borders – on static bikes in Newman University’s Atrium on Thursday 18th February.

Dr Mark Holland, Senior Lecturer at Newman University, said: “Staff and students regularly visit The Gambia to take part in projects supported by Building Futures in the Gambia programme.

“During the field experience they work on a variety of projects and lead a number of classes, all of which gave them a valuable insight into education in Africa. This experience is often central to their own views and practices in education going forward.

“The students were so inspired by what they had seen on their previous field experience that they decided they wanted to do something to raise awareness of the charity and funds to support its work so the idea for this cycling challenge was born.”

The Building Futures in the Gambia programme is involved in a range of initiatives including school-based curriculum projects, building libraries and classrooms and installing sanitation at schools in rural and urban areas.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the Newman team can do so by visiting