PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Nick Taylor's 'Give to Gambia' Project
Pageant member, Nicholas Taylor, is a recent graduate from the University of Winchester, where he studied primary education. He was born and raised in Hastings (East Sussex), and recently moved back to the area, now residing in Heathfield. He has been teaching at Battle Abbey Prep school for about five months, and now has a full time teaching job at a local primary school in Crowborough.
First visit to Soma
In 2015, as part of his teacher training programme, Nick visited the up-country community of Soma in The Gambia, with a group of primary education teacher trainees and lecturers from his University. Here is his description of the visit:
"During our visit, we stayed at, where we were well looked after by the scouts and Kaira Konko team. (Note also spelt Kairo Konko) We were there for 16 days, spending time getting to know the local community and culture. Moreover, we also spent 10 days teaching at the local Primary School, called Soma Lower Basic which has 26 classes and over 1,000 children on its roll. The trip was an incredibly unique and life-changing experience, and really put life into perspective and made me realise how lucky I am to have the life that I do."
...and finally - see the Winchester groupat Soma LBS in record time.
Give to Gambia
"I promised myself when I left I would return once again to reunite with the friends that I made in Soma, and when I did, I would look to make a positive difference to the Soma community. Therefore, as a result of deciding to return in April 2017, I set up my 'Give to Gambia' project which aims to support a number of causes that I hope will make a positive difference to the lives of people living in the Soma community:"
- Supplying mosquito nets
- Funding football equipment and resources for the recently founded Soma Hart Football academy
- Donating financial support to the Kairo Konko Rice Fund who supply rice to local families suffering from malnutrition and starvation
- Providing school resources to Soma Lower Basic, supplying each class with a 'Class Toolkit Box' that consists of 45 pencils, 45 erasers, 45 workbooks, 3 boxes of chalk, 3 packs of coloured pencils and a clipboard. This is to ensure that barriers to children's learning are removed, as if children don't have a pencil, or have nothing to write on, they can't do the work being asked of them as resources were not supplied by the school
- Repairing a local village water-well, that requires a new pulley system in order to extract the water.
Change of plan
Due to problems synchronising school Easter holidays and flight timings, Nick has decided to postpone his April visit to The Gambia, but all the fundraising goes ahead as planned.
"As part of my fundraising, I am running theand half marathons, and then the as my big finale before I then head out to The Gambia. 100% of the money raised will be going towards the causes I have outlined above, and I will be having a physical presence whilst I am there in order to ensure the above projects are followed through with."
Read Nick's account of how the money he raised has helped projects in the Soma area.