PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

Open House for members, Sunday, 12 July 2009

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Pippa and Ian hosted the annual Summer Open House day for Pageant members between 11.00am and 4.00pm on Sunday 12 July 2009. This was attended by over 50 of our enthusiastic members, who enjoyed the sunshine (we were very lucky with the weather!), buffet lunch, drinks, tea and coffee as well as chatting about all things Gambian. Many of the lunch dishes were brought by members and a nominal charge was made of 5 per head, with proceeds going towards the cost of sending the next container of school furniture and materials to Banjul at the end of the month.
 

guests arriving

drinks before lunch

guests arriving

drinks before lunch

melee in the kitchen

Seedy & Brian

melee in the kitchen

Seedy & Brian

Our Gambian visitor, Seedy (pronounced Siddy) Conteh, is a young man who has been helped by PAGEANT in the past to do a Management Course in a Gambian college. He is currently studying at Aston University in Birmingham and has just completed his first year there - his UK studies are NOT funded by PAGEANT but we have kept in touch with him. He too enjoyed the day and emailed us to say "Thank you for the invitation and for everything that you have done for me. I am indeed honoured and privileged to attend the PAGEANT meeting where I was very happy to meet and talk to people who have never visited The Gambia."
 

bar staff - Mike, Frances & Claire

Frances, Pippa & Claire

Joe & Chris discuss science in Gambian schools

bar staff - Mike, Frances & Claire

Frances, Pippa & Claire

Joe & Chris discuss
 science in Gambian schools

colourful Gambian garments

William, Seedy, Catherine & Marjorie

colourful Gambian garments

William, Seedy, Catherine & Marjorie

Mo, Kate & Alison with Seedy

Janey, Jemma, Robin & Andy

Mo, Kate & Alison with Seedy

Janey, Jemma, Robin & Andy

A raffle for an original watercolour of a bridge at Telford, painted by Surrey artist Joan Dobie, raised over 100 for the purchase of mosquito nets and was won by a delighted Anne. Frances and Claire, both wearing the Gambian outfits they had purchased during our April trip, read out messages to the members from our Gambian agents Wandifa and Yankuba*.
 

selling raffle tickets

Frances & Claire reading the messages

selling raffle tickets

Frances & Claire reading the messages

Wandifa's Message - Wandifa asked Frances to say this on his behalf:

"I would like to thank everyone here for your continuous support you give me and the people of The Gambia. It is a great honour to work on behalf of PAGEANT and my special thanks go to Pippa and Ian for all their efforts and kindness."

Yankuba's Message - part of Yankuba's emailed message:

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, present at this annual gathering of our great organization which is PAGEANT. I say welcome to you all at this annual meeting. Without wasting more time let you all give a clap to Pippa and the others for standing firmly on the ground to see that this great organization is still existing up to date. Many thanks to them for their loyalty to this charity.

Meanwhile, on behalf of your sponsored children of the smiling coast of Africa, I feel very happy to write to you and express our appreciation for the warmest support you have been rendering to we, the pupils of the Gambia, in building a better future for the young ones whose parents cannot afford to pay for their education. Please allow me to tell you some of the things that PAGEANT has brought to the Gambian pupils. PAGEANT has made education possible for so many Gambians by doing their utmost best to provide needy ones with all kinds of educational materials they will need during their tenure at school, and this has made it possible for me and the rest of the students to have access to quality education. Even though at the moment you are facing the greatest economical crisis in UK and the world at large, this does not make you to stop paying for our education because of the love and the care you always have for us, and this has shown me that your love and care for the Gambians is always increasing day by day.

We are proud of you all for your timeless support, especially those of you who are making every thing possible by sponsoring female children, because to me if you educate a female you educate a nation. They are going to be our future mothers of tomorrow, and educating them will give them the opportunity to be role models in the future, and not to be looked on as only housewives in our societies. Thanks to PAGEANT for sponsoring our female students in order to make their dreams come true.

Also, PAGEANT has contributed greatly in the development of our social sector, by building markets and giving out loans to our mothers to enable them to make a small scale business without any interest in return and all this because of no one but PAGEANT. Not only that, but PAGEANT has also contributed greatly to the health of The Gambia by introducing artemesia plants, and this has made it possible for those who cannot afford to pay for the medication at the hospital for the treatment of malaria which is the most killer disease in Africa especially The Gambia to now have full treatment for malaria for free without any payment, as it is grown by themselves.

In conclusion I will say thanks to all the PAGEANT members at this gathering and also to the others who didn't make it to this meeting and I will tell you that you are all welcome to The Gambia at any time."

*Wandifa is Pageant's main agent in The Gambia. Yankuba is our young trainee agent who covers the area around Jarreng, which is midway along the South Bank, and assists Wandifa in other areas when necessary.
 
 

Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963

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