PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Busumbala Women's Group
Women in agriculture and rural crafts
Much of agriculture throughout Africa depends on the efforts of women. In The Gambia, women are traditionally responsible for providing goods for household consumption whereas the men farm crops that are of commercial value.
Small enterprises are often operated by formal or informal women's groups. The women often have only a very basic education, so may need help in such areas as numeracy (e.g. bookkeeping and banking) and literacy (e.g. better English for selling craft products to the tourist trade). This is where Pageant can help, and is a perfect example of encouraging Natural Talent. There is further information on other women's groups.
Pageant has been helping a Women's Group in the Village of Busumbala, near Serrekunda, for about two years. The group has approximately 30 members, of which about half are active members. Only one of these women has attended school, up to Grade 2. Pageant has been funding literacy and numeracy classes for just over a year, with a break for the rainy season to work in the gardens. The women have opened a bank account, under a scheme for community groups, citing our support.
The Busumbala Women's Group run a vegetable garden, and sell their produce at the local market.
The Busumbala women produce tie-dyed fabrics, dresses, dolls, bags etc. - some for the tourist market and some for local consumption. Pageant helps with with materials for their craft (a sewing machine, scissors, thread, needles, pins etc) and has paid some set-up money to buy dyes and rubber gloves. We also send them large bags of women's and children's clothing, all of which are received with great enthusiasm.
Other women's groups
shows how other women's groups are being helped in the Gambia. Pageant's involvement could also spread to other communities. Families are already being helped with supplies of clothes and household items in the up-country villages of Bakalarr, Jarreng and Kalagi and it is mainly the women who are the organisers of distributing this sort of aid within the communities.
Pageant runs a scheme to provide microloans to groups of women to start small businesses..