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Mr Gitteh's visit - fourth report

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Bakary meets his childhood sponsor

Other reports on Bakary Gitteh's visit

1st report - Sussex Schools


2nd report - visit to Isle of Wight


3rd report - Meet Mr Gitteh Day, more Schools


5th report - Singleton & Globe Theatre


final report - Visit to London and Shopping

During a conversation after his arrival in UK, Bakary asked if it might be possible to trace the sponsor, Diana Wale, who had enabled him to finish his schooling. The last address he had for her was in Shanklin, Isle of Wight. Pageant member Mo Dawkins, who lives on the Island, rallied local newspapers and radio station in an effort to trace her. The photograph that Bakary has kept of her since she sent it to him in about 1990 was the key to finding her - it was printed in the County Press and was first of all recognised by Diana's brother. Diana herself then contacted Mo Dawkins, who arranged a lunchtime meeting for Sunday 31 July.

On that Sunday Bakary Gitteh, together with Ian & Pippa Howard, crossed to the Island by HoverSpeed (an exciting event in itself) and were met at Ryde and taken to Mo's home, where Diana was waiting to meet him. It was a wonderful occasion for both Bakary and Diana - they had never met before and Diana has never visited The Gambia, so there was lots to talk about. Bakary presented Diana with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and Diana had brought presents for Bakary, his family and for the school - amazingly, she had selected a sewing box for Bakary's wife, Mariama, not knowing that Mariama teaches sewing and other aspects of Domestic Science at Bakalarr School. It could not have been a more welcome gift. The photos below show some of the highlights of the day.

boarding the hovercraft at Porstmouth

Ian and Bakary on board the hovercraft

Boarding the hovercraft

Bakary and Ian on board

Diana Wale meets Bakary Gitteh in Mo Dawkins garden

Diana Wale and Bakary Gitteh look at pages from the Pageant website

Diana Wale with Bakary

Diana and Bakary look at Pageant web pages

Bakary presents a bouquet to Diana

Diana gives Bakary some presents

Diana gives Bakary a sewing kit, and other presents

As Diana said, it was such a pleasure for her to find that the child she had sponsored had succeeded so well in his career - she had never dreamt that she was helping a future headmaster! For his part, Bakary said that meeting Diana was one of the best moments of his trip to UK - he had hoped, but not really expected, that they might meet and he was delighted to be able to thank her personally for her kindness and to be able to renew contact with her.

Bakary gives Diana a bouquet

Diana gives Bakary a World Map for the classroom wall

A world map for the classroom wall

Bakary's story is a marvellous example of a child who has benefited from sponsorship and has made the most of his opportunities. Find out more about how you can sponsor a child's education through Pageant.
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