PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

Harvest Festival with a difference

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Pageant News 8 October 2005 - update 19 October 2005

For some time Pageant has been providing help for school and village gardens in The Gambia in the form of packets of seeds and also occasional donations of money to buy tools such as watering cans, spades, rakes, hoes etc. . The idea of combining this with Harvest Festival was originally suggested by Mary Baker of the Ladies' First Thursday Group, after a Pageant presentation to the group at the Church Hall of St John the Baptist Church at Belmont, Surrey last May.

The suggestion was warmly received by the Vicar, Mark Williams and on Sunday 2 October the amazing total of 294 packets of vegetable seeds and 386 in cash for garden tools was donated at the St John's Harvest Festival.

St John's Cub Scouts with seeds donated for The Gambia

St John's Brownies

St John's Cub Scouts with some of the seeds

St John's Brownies

St Joh'ns Rainbows with their poster 'Seeds for Africa'

<< St John's Rainbows with packets of seeds and their 'Seeds for Africa' poster


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We will be taking these seeds out during the next few weeks - this is particularly good timing, as it is during this current term that the children in The Gambia start to plant their school gardens, ready for harvesting next term. These school gardens are a valuable resource - not only are they used for teaching purposes, with each child having a small patch of his/her own to tend, but much of the produce is used in the school kitchens. Any surplus is sold, providing welcome revenue for the school funds.

The village gardens are also in full swing at this time of the year, as the rainy season is just ending and attention will be turning from the rice and peanut crops in the fields to the vegetable patches, rather resembling allotments, in the villages. It is usually the women who tend these gardens and they are often the only source of support that the family has.

We will update this page with pictures of the gardens, both this term as they are being started off and next term when we hope for some bumper crops

Read more about the vegetable gardens in Bakalarr.

Update 19 October 2005 - More Harvest Festivals

The Rector of St Mary's Church, West Horsley, Anthony Delaney was also enthusiastic about the idea and St Mary's Harvest Festival, held on 9 October, brought donations of 316 packets of seeds and 447.05 in cash.

Glenesk School in East Horsley has given us a further 322 packets of seeds - these were offered at the school's Harvest Festival Service, which was held on 6 October.

On a smaller scale, but no less welcome, were the seeds received from the 6th Horsham Beavers, following a Pageant presentation at their meeting on 10 October.

In total, we have received 942 packets of seeds and we will be taking all of them, and the money for tools, out to The Gambia during the next few weeks.

Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963

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