PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Jurunku Basic Cycle School 2009 onwards
Jurunku is a small village in the North Bank Division of The Gambia. It is about 35km from the ferry terminal at Barra, and is reached by a half hour's drive along the main road to the town of Kerewan, followed by about an hour along sandy tracks between fields and through tiny villages. Jurunku is situated between two bolongs (creeks), leading down to the Gambia River. It is at the centre of an agricultural area - the main crop being groundnuts (peanuts). Its isolated position means that there are few links with the outside world - just a few tradesmen selling their wares and one bush taxi a day to Barra. It is definitely not on the tourist trail.
Jurunku Basic Cycle School serves the surrounding countryside. It was
a Lower Basic School until September 2014, when it started to add classes
in Grades 7 to 9. Pageant first visited the school in 2004, when the
buildings were in a poor condition, and it was obviously in need of help.
Since then Pageant has assisted the school and the village with many
improvements supervised in the first few years by Jon Quinnel.
After 2007, Jon stepped back from Jurunku and since then Ann and Brian
Keating have been the main Pageant visitors to the school and any
projects have been funded from Pageant general funds.
October 2009 - HopeFirst Foundation
Pageant had an email from Barbara Trenary, who works with thebased in Seattle, USA. They work in The Gambia and in Zimbabwe, helping children in both countries. For further information about their activities in The Gambia, see this .
Barbara and some colleagues spent a week in Jurunku last year. One of their party worked with the villagers to install a new solar power system in the school. This has a recharging station for mobile phones, and fees from this help to buy school supplies.
On their next visit to Jurunku, the HopeFirst Foundation group will include two engineers, who have designed a pedal powered grain mill which should be five times better than current hand operated mills. Forthcoming projects in Jurunku and other villages include wire fencing for the women's gardens, treadle pumps for irrigation from the existing wells, bicycles for kids to get to school from remote locations, sewing machines for women to make bed nets and refurbishment of a clinic.
December 2011 - First Phase of New Kitchen
The photos below were taken by Ann and Brian Keating during their visit to Jurunku in December 2011. They show the new kitchen building completed, but lacking finishing and any internal fittings.
April 2012 - Final Touches to the Kitchen
Ann and Brian returned in April 2012, and took these photos showing the final touches being made prior to the handing over ceremony. While the work was being finished off, they were entertained by the whole school singing, drumming and dancing. The lower right photo shows the headmaster and two of the cooks. The aprons were made as gifts by Ann and Brian's granddaughter Ellie.
April 2014 - New School Wall and the Vegetable Garden
When Pippa and Ian visited the school in April 2014 one of the many improvements they saw was the completed wall around the entire school compound. Previously there had been a wall just around the school vegetable garden. The lower two photos show some of the excellent crops of vegetables in the school garden.
When the above photos were taken, the compound had temporary wooden gates. These were soon replaced with sets of new metal gates. The photos below show the outside of the wall painted white, with the school badge and a welcome message. The new metal gates can just be seen on the right of the left hand photo. The school badge shows clearly that the school is now a Basic Cycle School.