Siffoe village is about 40 km south of Banjul, close to the border with
Pageant provided funds for completing a
block of five new classrooms in 2004 and 2005. (see
details) If you zoom in on the
Google Map you can see this
building as the long grey one on the left of the marker. Though a lot of progress
was seen in
the building work has only just been completed.
Pageant had encountered a certain amount of
trouble with Siffoe LBS, with a project that seemed to eat money but
never finish, so we decided to stop funding. However, Pageant
members Martin and Joan Nash met Momodou Kanteh, Pageant's assistant
agent for Siffoe, during a visit to The Gambia. They decided they
would like to help Siffoe LBS complete the 5 classroom block.
Despite the past problems regarding the use of funds donated by
Pageant and others, we agreed that they should proceed, but with
caution. The project was split into 3 phases:
Phase 1 - completion of all concreting and
Phase 2 - painting the building PROPERLY
Phase 3 - renovating or buying new
Phases 1 & 2 are now complete and Phase 3 is
probably finished. (waiting for confirmation from Momodou.)
Phase 1 - front of
the building and inside a classroom
The photos above were taken at the
completion of Phase 1 in February 2008. Pippa and Ian were very
pleased with the work. Momodou and Wandifa had been hard
taskmasters. Wandifa told Pippa that he went down to inspect the
work when it was said to be finished and both he and Momodou
went round and chalked crosses on all the places that had to be
done again - and they were!!
Phase 2 - front of
building and classroom after painting
The above photos show the same views after
painting. Wandifa and Momodou say it looks very good and has been
done well. Momodou insisted on three coats of paint!! Momodou's sent
us these emails:
"I have taken the things (from the container) to Siffoe school, and
the other things I took them home and share it with many other
people in the village, they are sending a big thank to you and the
project for your assistance, we really appreciate it. How is Tina,
say hi to her for me, I miss you all, I will call Wandifa about the
3rd phase at Siffoe school, all the other job is already done, now
is only the blackboard."
"I drove Wandifa to Siffoe school to look at
the phase 2 and he is happy about it and he gave me the money for
phase 3 which will be blackboards. At the moment I am looking
forward to that, next week I want to go there and finish the
blackboards, because some of them need to be changed and some just
to be painted again and look nice."
Martin's verdict: "Delighted with the
photographs, there really is a vast improvement, just needs a few
pictures and children's work on the walls and we have some real
classrooms. Momodou and the workforce should be very proud of what
they have achieved in a relatively short space of time."
So that is a really wonderful result on a
project we thought would never be completed.