PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Wesley Primary School, Banjul
Pageant first visited Wesley School in Banjul in 2004 to meet a newly sponsored child and were greeted enthusiastically and shown round by the headmistress, Bernie Sadie.
It became apparent that her main problem was the school kitchen. The building was largely sound, but damage to the chimney and the flues from the 'stoves' had resulted in the whole interior becoming heavily blackened and some of the cement-work had been damaged.
The pictures show the kitchen and some of the children helping the teachers to serve the food - as ever, the children were bright and cheerful, keen to show us their school and to be photographed! The headmistress agreed that as much of the labour as possible should be provided by the community and has sent us an estimate of £710 for the cost of materials and skilled labour for the renovation work. Pageant member Andrew Rattray had told us that he wished to fund a project by his own efforts. After discussion, and partly because his mum, dad and uncle all went to Wesley Methodist Chapel in Launceston, Cornwall, he decided to fund the kitchen refurbishment at Wesley Primary School.
Andrew, who is the proprietor of, raised funds by selling tickets to his customers for a free selection of books from his latest catalogue, launching this scheme at the Brighton Remainder Fair in January 2005. Pageant topped up the money raised by Andrew, and the kitchen refurbishment was completed by the time Pageant visited again in June 2005.
A few years after the above improvements were carried out, Wesley had to relocate to different premises, still in Banjul but nearer to the port. Pageant still assists the school in various ways, the most recent being the provision of cricket kit for the first eleven cricket team and help to finance a power supply for the school's computer room and library. Banjul Cricket Club has recently donated bats, balls and pads for Lower Basic Schools in Banjul and encouraged them to form a league. Wesley reached the final of this league's Cup competition in April 2014. Pageant member Richard was invited to present the winners and runners-up with their prizes.