PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Peace Corps Volunteers in The Gambia
The Peace Corps is a volunteer programme run and funded by the United States government. It was established in 1961, with the objective of promoting world peace and friendship. Today it has around 7000 volunteers and trainees working in 65 countries around the world. These numbers were correct at September 2013. For the most recent data please check theon the Peace Corps website. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) are US citizens with a college degree or other professional qualification. They work in their host countries for around two years and sometimes longer. Almost half of Volunteers work in Africa, and more help with education than with any other area.
The Peace Corps has been active in The Gambia and has a dedicated. There are about 70 volunteers in The Gambia working in the areas of education, health and environment, and more than 1,665 PCVs have served in The Gambia since 1967. Pageant has a link with the Peace Corps as Linda Murgatroyd, was their Education Program Manager for The Gambia from 2009-14. Linda has been a Pageant supporter since 2002 and Pageant's UK representative in The Gambia since 2007. Through Linda, Pageant has been able to help quite a number of schools to which PCVs are posted.
Pageant has recently funded projects in up-country schools where Linda has placed Peace Corps Volunteers to assist the head teachers. The Peace Corps does not provide any money for the volunteers to use on school projects, so Linda suggested that Pageant might be able to help with some funding. The PCVs submitted outlines of the projects that they felt would help their schools together with estimates of the costs involved and these were considered by Pageant's Trustees. Details of the successful projects follow.
We are really pleased that Pageant has been able to help these up-country schools, and we hope that we can co-operate with the Peace Corps again if similar opportunities arise. In most cases our only contact with these schools is through the PCVs, so we are very dependent on them for the information we publish about these schools.
Pallol Lower Basic School
Pallol is a village in the Central River Division on the North Bank of the Gambia River, not far from Janjanbureh (Georgetown). It is about 5km off the main North Bank Road. Pallol Lower Basic School was built in 2006. Since then extreme weather had resulted in damage to roof tiles, and leaks causing damage to classrooms.
Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Osterman worked
at this school, and requested help from Pageant to repair the
roofs. Pageant gave the school £400. They used this to re-roof
the kitchen and toilet roofs with corrugated sheeting, so that
tiles from these roofs could be recycled to repair the roofs
of the main classroom block.
Yallal Tankonjala Lower Basic School
Yallal Tankonjala is a village about 8km west of
the town of Farafenni in the North Bank Division. The Peace Corps
Volunteer at Yalla Tankonjala LBS is Laura Lyons.
Her major project at the school has been re-organising the library
and resource room. Pageant gave £485 to help with materials and
building work to renovate and re-equip this facility. The photos
below show the resource room/library after its renovation.
Laura has sent us a very detailed report about how the resource
room is used by staff and students.
Pageant gave Laura £155 towards matrials for an extensive programme of painting murals on school walls and throughout the village. These are highly visible and offer informal learning opportunities both for pupils and villagers. You can see more photos of these murals on this
Misera Basic Cycle School
Misera is in the Jarra West District of the Lower River Region. Its nearest town is Soma. The PCV at Misera Basic School is Jacinda (Jacy) Bowman. She has been at the school since September 2013 and will probably stay until the beginning of 2016. She is a prolific blogger, and. Jacy organised an excursion to public libraries and other places of interest in the Kombo and Banjul areas, so that the Library Committee and Library Monitors could see how these libraries operated. Throughout the year, the excursion was used as an incentive for the work done in the library. Pageant helped to fund this trip with a gift of £173.
In November 2015, a party of Pageant members visited
Misera BCS to meet Jacy and see her library and resource
room. Some microscopes were given to the school and
teachers trained to use them.
Lebba Lower Basic School
Lebba (sometimes spelt Leba) is a village in Upper Saloum in the Central River Division. It lies close to the North Bank Road a few km west of Panchang. Lebba Lower Basic School was opened in 2008, and moved into new premises in 2011, with the old school converted into staff accommodation. Pageant has given the PCV at Lebba £68 for materials to paint some murals on the school walls.