Baobab School is run by the non-profit association Baobab Schools in close cooperation with the positive footsteps association. Eldsjälen Rico Persson started the project in 2006 and has been a project leader since its inception.
By bringing together our own great interests, music, love and sustainable development, we have created various events in music and culture in order to help children in extremely poor countries with funds.
With shared knowledge, experience and efforts, we have together created our annual baobab festival event, which in turn led to the founding and development of baobab school in Guinea Conakry. The school currently has 14 employed teachers and gives 863 children the opportunity to school every day.
After running and developing baobab school completely without financial help for 7 years, it was time to ask the question outward:
We can do this – what can you do?
Our first sponsor Ridgeback Business Development came into play in 2014 and provides financial assistance and support in the development of the project.
In this way, we want to set an example that EVERYONE can make a difference, and at the same time so a seed and a challenge to others to use their own passion to contribute to a better future for all.
Many spirits of fire
We are actively working to organize various events and campaigns where the profits go towards running and developing baobab school. Positive Footsteps welcomes volunteers in many different areas, where we take advantage of each individual's interests or knowledge to activate in a developing way, both for the individual and for our arrangements. Every year, about 200 volunteers engage in different contexts.
SOME FROM THE TEAM
Start-up in Sweden
Johan loves to cook, play music
and spending time with his family out on the farm.
Active in Baobab Schools since 2010.
Founder and Chairman of Baobab Schools
The father of his beloved daughter and companion Eija Luna 8 years.
Playing music and thinks life
is generally lovely.
Passionate about making the world
to a better place.
IT STARTED WITH MUSIC
In 2004, Rico Persson went down for the first time to Guinea Conakry, in order to learn more about the lively African rhythms and dance that originated from West Africa. The musician's family he lived with shared his straw mattress, and together they slept 6 people in their small shed, ate together, became ill with malaria together, studied music, and over time became very close friends.
Here he lived half the year, and then traveled back to Marbella in Spain, where he lived half the year. The contrast was huge. The abundance one was met by well back in Marbella set off many musings in his head and realised he had to do something. What didn't he know then?
BAOBAB FESTIVAL REBOOTED
Together with the staff at the music café he worked at, they sat down to think about what they could do. For what could they do? They were just "ordinary people."" They decided to empty the cookie jar, make a small hole in the lids, and then put all the tips they got in from the serving. This would be their contribution. To what did they still not know. However, the contents of the cookie jar grew rapidly, and soon it was full of coins. They started thinking about the next step.
The friends called around to other musician friends in Marbella and organized a support group where they themselves performed with their friends. This event was named Baobab Festival. On this day, a modest 1,400 euros that came along with the sock read on their way down to Guinea a couple of weeks later.
BAOBAB SCHOOL – FIRST CLASSROOM
Once in Guinea and the village of Coza where Rico lived, it turned out that there was a local vacancy, there were a number of trained teachers in the village, but none of them had a job because very few could afford to pay for schooling. They decided to rent the premises, hire one of the teachers, and then they started painting, carpentry school benches and getting school supplies. The doors to this first classroom were opened in April 2007 with the possibility for 20pc of children to take part in primary school education.
THE PROJECT IS GETTING BIGGER
Back in Marbella, this was very high-profile. They had enjoyed good music, dancing, food and drink during a single evening, and because of this, 20 children in Guinea could now be allowed to go to school! Artists from different directions started calling to be able to participate with their music for the next edition of the baobab festival event, people got in touch and want to be involved in the project, both in organization and as volunteers.
This contributed to this little concert that we called the Baobab Festival soon growing bigger. In 2010, Rico moved to Malmö and took the concept to introduce in Sweden.
The positive footsteps association was founded and became a driving force in the project's continued development.
863 CHILDREN AT SCHOOL
The project has become larger every year with ever-new dedicated actors and enthusiasts in Sweden, as well as with parents' contributions in Guinea. With everyone's common power, we have managed to further develop baobab school into 14 teachers and 863 children who can today go to school every day.
THANK YOU ALL – TOGETHER WE CAN!!