Adama is our Gambian manager. Without him, Continent Clothing could not work. Whilst I am not in the Gambia, Adama takes over all of my responsibilities. He shops for fabrics, take them to the tailors, and quality checks every single thing that is produced. He has a novel way of showing us new products (no matter what they are). He is constantly sending pictures of him wearing the new collections, I am sure you will agree, a great way of quality checking the products.
Adama has a very large family, one of the longest residing families in Sukuta. I have been overwhelmed by the acceptance and continued warm welcome and support I receive on every trip. His mother, one of the oldest women in the village (86) greets me every time and his sisters, brothers and extended family seem to love having me around. I spend many afternoons eating the food they cook and still love it to this day. They will always be my Gambian family.
Adama really is the unsung hero at Continent Clothing. His day to day work helps us achieve all our aims and objectives, and we do not give him the credit he deserves. Adama helps us build the relationships we need to make our project work. His eye for detail also means that the tailors are consistently improving, which in turn makes their apprentices improve too. When we are not there we also entrust him to review the wages and advise us on if anything needs changing. His managerial skills have really come on leaps and bounds in the last few years.
Development often fails because organisations lose sight of why they started or they approach development with a one size fits all project. This in practice doesn't do as much good as it could. Managerial skills are not often passed on to locals, who normally keep the lower-paid jobs. Employing Adama has ensured that we are passing down as much knowledge to the local community as possible, Adama now even has an apprentice of his own.
. Adama is now in the process of building his very own compound!
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