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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

News and Events Archive 2003-5

Warning - This is an archive. Links to external websites may not still work

News Archive October - December 2005

29 December 2005 - Pippa's trip to The Gambia, November 2005

27 December 2005 - Shap Ahoy send Christmas Greetings from Marrakech (pictures)

17 December 2005 - Shap Ahoy on their way, 2000 cheque for Pageant Team Shap Ahoy leave Cumbria for The Gambia today. They are catching the 16.00 ferry from Dover. They have also sent another cheque for 2000 to Pageant.

15 December 2005 - Pippa's visit to Saloum Nursery Pippa Howard has just returned from The Gambia, where she visited Saloum Nursery School and was delighted to see that work on the toilet block is under way. Pippa took with her a further 500 from Shap Ahoy. Pictures can be found on the Saloum Nursery page.

13 December 2005 - Last Chance to get Pageant Christmas Gift Tokens Please send requests to reach Pageant by the 17th December, as we can't guarantee delivery before Christmas for requests received after that date. The Gift Token Scheme will continue through 2006, but without the Christmas association.

9 December 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Team Super Trooper raise over 1000 for Pageant more details

6 December 2005 - Delft Dustbusters complete the Amsterdam-Dakar Challenge
We are waiting for their final report, but in the meantime, check out the news and pictures below:
    latest pictures - Daily uploads of photos. There are now two pages in the photo index.
    latest news - Daily news, unfortunately in Dutch, but try running it through Babelfish

Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Team Shap Ahoy latest updates

24 November 2005 - Delft Dustbusters update They are now heading for the Gambia border, so the end of the Challenge is in sight.

23 November 2005 - Online donation - you can now donate to Pageant using your credit or debit card.

Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Team Shap Ahoy November 2005 updates

14 November 2005 - Delft Dustbusters update - They are now crossing the Sahara.

11 November 2005 - Sponsorship in Action page updated

9 November 2005 - Pageant T-Shirts for members - further details on new members page

2 November 2005 - Delft Dustbusters updateleaving on 5 November, having replaced their Renault Trafic van with a Volvo 740.

1 November 2005 - Christmas Gift Tokens This Christmas, Pageant will be offering a range of Gift Tokens which people can give as presents. We have a list of gifts ranging in value from 5 to 75. You send the Gift Token to your friend or relative, and schools, children or villagers in The Gambia benefit from  a gift which is sure to be greatly appreciated. full details on our new gifts page
(stop press - gift tokens now available throughout the year)

Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Team Shap Ahoy - October 2005 updates

19 October 2005 - More Harvest Festivals More seeds have been donated at Harvest Festivals at St Mary's Church in West Horsley and Glenesk School in East Horsley, and also by the 6th Horsham Beavers. In total 942 packets of seeds and nearly 800 in money for tools will be taken to The Gambia during the next few weeks. more details

17 October 2005 - Super Trooper update - more details

11 October 2005 - Ousman's studio Ousman Sowe has built himself a new studio - more details

8 October 2005 - Harvest Festival with a difference Seeds and money for The Gambia donated at St John's (Belmont) Harvest Festival - more details

7 October 2005 - Bakary Gitteh's Visit - final report (apologies for lateness in publishing)

6 October 2005 - Amsterdam-Dakar Challenge - Delft Dustbusters - update & picture of their van

6 October 2005 - Visit to Gallions Mount School - more details

5 October 2005 - More infants' school furniture for The Gambia - 7 cubic metres of goods packed and on their way to The Gambia.

News Archive July - September 2005

21 September 2005 - Gambia win again against Qatar see table of results scroll down to Group D

20 September 2005 - Soccer shock for Brazil Gambia under 17 soccer team has pulled off a remarkable win against Brazil. Read account Do you keep abreast of news from The Gambia? You can do this using these links

15 September 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge team Shap Ahoy - latest update

12 September 2005 - Mosquito nets for village communities Pageant has sent 1100, which paid for the purchase of mosquito nets and insecticide for supply to village communities in and around Bakalarr and Jarreng. see further details

9 September 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge team Shap Ahoy - update

1 September 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge team Super Trooper now have their own website.

20 August 2005 - New pictures by Bakalarr artist Ousman Sowe

17 August 2005 - Pages about Bakary Gitteh's Visit We now have three new pages describing Bakary Gitteh's visit, and the other two pages have been extensively updated.

10 August 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - now four teams helping Pageant We have already reported on two teams in the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, who have decided to help Pageant. They have their own news pages on this site: see Shap Ahoy, and Super Trooper. We now have two more teams:

2 August 2005 - Bakary Gitteh meets his childhood sponsor On Sunday 31 July, Bakary Gitteh travelled to the Isle of Wight to meet Diana Wales, whose sponsorship had enabled him to finish his education.  Click here for the second report on Bakary's visit.

25 July 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Super Trooper - new page, new picture The second team in the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, which is supporting Pageant, now has its own news page, with the first picture of their car.

18 July 2005 - Meet Bakary Gitteh Day The headmaster of Bakalarr School, Mr Bakary Gitteh, is visiting the UK.  We will publish reports and pictures in a series of linked news pages during the course of his visit - click here for the first report. On 17th July, Pippa and Ian held a 'Meet Bakary Gitteh' day at their home, which was attended by about fifty Pageant members. Click here for the report on this day.

18 July 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Super Trooper We now have another Plymouth-Banjul Challenge entrant keen to support Pageant! The drivers are Paul Clifford and Rupert Williams from Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Their car is a brown 1989 Isuzu Trooper. Paul says 'There is nothing Super about a  Brown Trooper.....apart from the fact that I don't think many people can boast swimming pools in both foot wells'. We will soon have web page to follow their exploits - watch this space!

12 July 2005 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Shap Ahoy - update Nick Capron, a manager with Cumbria Education Service and Tim Lovatt, manager of Park Cliffe Camping Site at Windermere, are taking part in this year's Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, and will be raising funds for Pageant. We will keep you informed of developments in this news page. There is now a picture of Tim and Nick with their car on this page.

10 July 2005 - Mr Gitteh's visit The headmaster of Bakalarr School, Mr Gitteh, arrived on Friday 8 July for a visit. He will be visiting several schools in various parts of the UK during the first two weeks of his stay, including some on the Isle of Wight, where he will be the guest of Mo and Nick Dawkins. After the schools have broken up for the summer, he will be making trips to London and the West Country and, of course, visiting local places of interest in Sussex and Surrey.

4 July 2005 - 100 Sponsored Students Pageant has just passed the milestone of 100 fully sponsored students. The sponsor who is helping the 100th child contacted us through the website, and was kind enough to send the following comments:

"I am interested in the work of your organisation and was struck by the simplicity and importance of its purpose. It also seems to me that your organisation makes a very positive impact, and I look forward to playing a small part in this important work.
I came across your organisation via the website. I investigated sponsorship via a number of large charities, but felt most confident in supporting yours. I am neither a philanthropist or a rich man, but a firm believer in the value of education. I recall the famous saying, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life', and feel that it is no longer morally acceptable for me not to sponsor a child in this way. The cost is absolutely minimal compared to the value that I am sure it will generate.
I would strongly urge others to take the same action immediately. Take action - sign the cheque now. Any cynics believing that to do so would be the act of a 'do-gooder' would do well to remember that it is better to be a 'do-gooder' than one who does nothing.
I am a secondary school teacher of Business and Economics in Hertfordshire, and hope to develop a long association with your work, introducing others to sponsorship and making more people aware of your important work. Anyway, good luck once again."

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking him and all our other sponsors for their generosity - we and all the Gambian children and schools who have and are benefiting from their kindness are truly grateful.

News Archive January - June 2005

14 June 2005 - Amsterdam-Dakar Challenge The Amsterdam-Dakar Challenge is similar to the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge. This year Michiel van der Meulen, and some friends from Delft in the Netherlands, will attempt to take a Renault Trafic van to Banjul, and at the end of the challenge they will donate the van to Pageant. We will keep you up to date on their progress on this news page.

13 June 2005 - new pictures

See new pictures from Saloum Nursery and Wesley School

7 May 2005 - Christ's Hospital School Pupils at Christ's Hospital School, near Horsham, are sponsoring a student in The Gambia. They have raised over 1000 for Pageant projects, by Chapel Collections, a Rugby Sevens Tournament and sales of a School Magazine. (see further details)

2 May 2005 - Dame Tipping School

This is the second page in which we say an official 'Thank you' to some of our younger members who have been raising funds for Pageant during the past few months. The children of Dame Tipping CE Primary School in Essex, have raised sufficient money, by devising games and competitions, to sponsor two brothers in The Gambia. Abdoulrahman and Yusupha are now regarded by the children as part of their school.
see further details)

29 April 2005 - Ben's Story During the next few weeks we will be using the website to say an official 'Thank you' to some of our younger members who have been raising funds for Pageant during the past few months. The first of these is Ben's story. Ben is a 10 year old pupil at Warnham CE School, near Horsham in West Sussex. Ben is one of Pageant's youngest members. He and his sisters have been sponsoring a child at Jarreng for some time. He put together a Power-point presentation for his school, and then organised a fund raising day, which realised 200. (further details)

24 April 2005 - new pictures - new pages There are new pictures of progress at the Sinchu Baliya Resource Centre and Siffoe School. Pageant has also started to give help to Saloum Nursery.

19 April 2005 - new video clips Two new clips Mud Block Making and Bakalarr Cultural Dancing Group.

16 April 2005 - Amy and Amanda help unload containers Pageant members Amy Montgomery and Amanda Carley are currently in The Gambia. They are going to assist with teaching in one of the schools which Pageant helps. Watch out for more news and pictures when they get back.

16 April 2005 - new pictures We have added some new pictures to the new Bakalarr page.

2 April 2005 - prize draw raises funds for Wesley kitchens Andrew Rattray of Bookmark Remainders Ltd, has run a prize draw for his customers. The draw was made at the London Book Fair during the weekend 12/13 March and 500's worth of books were won by CJS Wholesale Ltd in Hexham, Northumberland. 700 was raised for the kitchen renovation at Wesley School which is scheduled to take place during the Easter school holidays. Andrew has asked that a small plaque should be put up on the kitchen in memory of his mum, dad and uncle - the text will read: 'For the children, in memory of Barbara, Charlie and Ron'. We will publish photos as work proceeds.

2 April 2005 - another new page Abuko - a Lower Basic School was started here recently as a local initiative, so that the village children did not have to travel 5km to the nearest school. Ian and Pippa, together with Pageant members Vic and Jackie, visited the school to see what help they require.

26 March 2005 - New pages with news and pictures from The Gambia

23 March 2005 - Packing FROGS containers On Saturday 12 March, Pageant members loaded up another FROGS container for The Gambia. As well as the usual items, this load contained no less than 72 optical microscopes donated by Leeds University.

14 March 2005 - Baby son for Kemo Kemo's wife Sonna has just given birth to a 'fit, healthy and strong' baby boy in Jarreng on 12th March.  Kemo heard the news by phone, and is now off to Jarreng for the naming ceremony. He will let us know the baby's name when he gets back.

10 February 2005 - Horsham Fun Day Volunteers, New Pictures, Ian and Pippa in The Gambia Pageant will be at the Horsham Park Fun day on Sunday 26 June 2005, between 1 and 5 pm. If you would like to help out, please contact us in the usual way. We have been sent new pictures taken in January 2005. See these pages: Sinchu Baliya Resource Centre, Siffoe School New Building, Bakalarr Multipurpose Court.

20 January 2004 - Thompson & Morgan seed donation Pageant has received a donation of vegetable seeds from Thompson & Morgan, which Pippa and Ian will take out to The Gambia in February. (see their website)

18 January 2005 - W3C, Accessibility and a new version of the Pageant website. This new version of the Pageant aims to comply as closely as possible with the W3C specifications on accessibility. It is now a legal requirement in the UK, for websites to be accessible to users with various disabilities. Complying with the W3C HTML coding specification is the first step in achieving this. At the same time we have decided to restructure some parts of the website, with a modified home page, and a new projects page.

18 - January 2005 - Presentation of Computers at Crab Island School (from Keith Farrington) A presentation of computer and sports equipment was made at Crab Island School with many schools benefiting from the donation. The Gambian Deputy Permanent Secretary of Education received the donation on behalf of the schools.

18 January 2005 - Stage at Crab Island School (from Keith Farrington) During a visit to Crab Island School a student fell through the stage which was eaten away with termites. The student who was knocked unconscious by the fall has now recovered. A carpenter called Sainey Sanney was engaged to repair the stage where around 10m of 200mm x 75mm mahogany beams were purchased to replace missing beams. The stage was double skinned and bonded using 12mm treated plywood. Members of Keith FC, Gunners FC, Atlantic Young Stars FC, New Police Line FC, the staff and children from the school took part in the largest building project in Banjul during the Christmas break. Following three days of hard work the stage was repaired.

11 January 2005 - Glowstar Lanterns

Glowstar lantern and solar panel for rechargingThree Glowstar lanterns (Glowstar website) and associated solar panels, were taken out in October 2004 and given to compounds that have a large number of school children needing to do homework, and no electricity to provide light in the evenings. This brings the total number of Glowstars taken out to four - the first unit, taken out in October 2003, has proved to be very popular indeed with the compound in which it was installed. A complete unit of Glowstar plus solar panel costs about 100 including VAT.

News Archive 2004

30 December 2004 - New Resource Centre picture There is a new photo showing progress on the Sinchu Baliya page

22 December 2004 - Reports on Pippa and Ian's visit in October

8 December 2004 - New Video Clips We have two new video clips, which you can see by going to the new Video Clips Index page. The first clip is the original one of the Bakalarr nursery class, soon after it opened in February 2004. The second clip is a new one showing children at Bakalarr nursery playing with their new ride-on toys from Bramley Nursery School in October 2004. The third clip is a new one showing the children at Life Nursery School in October 2004.

16 November 2004 - New & updated pages Pageant helps three more schools in The Gambia, and continues to support ongoing projects:

7 November 2004 - New Page - Ousman F Sowe's paintings

31 August 2004 - Packing another container Another FROGS container was packed on Saturday 11 September, to arrive in The Gambia in October, just before Pippa and Ian get there. Along with many other donated items, a Surrey Nursery School gave some great ride-on toys, which are going to Bakalarr for the recently-started nursery class.

27 August 2004 - Three Peaks Challenge & Sinchu Baliya Resource Centre We received 1,125.00 from Chris Hyde and his friends, resulting from sponsorship of their Three Peaks Challenge. A large proportion of this will be used to complete the Resource Centre which has already been started for Sinchu Baliya school. See story and pictures

31 July 2004 - Packing Day Another consignment of goods was packed for dispatch to The Gambia.

9 July 2004 - Three Peaks Challenge completed Pageant member Chris Hyde and his team completed the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three highest peaks in England (Scafell Pike), Scotland (Ben Nevis) and Wales (Snowdon). , all within 24 hours. See full story and pictures

5 July 2004 - Horsham Rotary Club Charity Day Pageant will again have a stand at the Horsham Rotary Club Charity Day - this time to be held at Collyers Sixth Form College, Horsham on Saturday 10 July, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. This will be Kemo's first UK public engagement, so we are hoping it will keep fine for him!

2 July 2004 - More help for Kemo. Wandifa becomes Pageant's second agent. Pageant now have so many school projects and sponsored children that Kemo needs help with all the organisation and travelling. Since February, Wandifa Saidykhan has become Pageant's second agent in The Gambia.
See our new
Wandifa page.

2 July 2004 - Newsletter No3 issued Our June 2004 newsletter has been sent out to all our members. If you are a member, and haven't received yours, then please get in touch.

14 June 2004 - Kemo to visit UK in July We are getting ready to welcome Kemo to the UK.  He is due to arrive early in July for a six weeks visit. During his stay he will be visiting several schools and meeting as many Pageant members and sponsors as possible.  This will be a big trip for Kemo, as he has not travelled outside The Gambia before.  He is very excited about the prospect and we hope he will both enjoy his time here and come to understand more about the British people and their way of life.  We will soon be circulating members with the date of a 'meet Kemo' day, which will be in late July or early August.

21 April 2004 - Video clips Children at Bakalarr Nursery School and sponsored children on the beach. Access these through the Nursery Page or the Site Map.

23 March 2004 - The wall paintings The boundary wall around Bakalarr School was completed in July 2003. Since then, Ousman, a Grade 9 pupil, and the teacher in charge of art & crafts have decorated the wall around the school with numerous pictures - turning it into an incredible art gallery. See the pictures.

23 March 2004 - The vegetable gardens Bakalarr School now has two additional completely new gardens, planted out with the seeds donated by Suttons and Unwins. The vegetables are used in the school kitchens and are sold to provide funds. The gardens also provide a valuable teaching resource for the agricultural science programme. See the latest pictures.

23 March 2004 - The nursery class The headmaster ay Bakalarr has started a nursery class. There is no State provision for Nursery Education in The Gambia, so this will receive no financial assistance from Government sources. Pageant is helping with redecoration of the classroom, and plans to help with furniture, equipment and toys in the not-too-distant future. See our new web page.

23 March 2004 - Sporting achievements The sports equipment that PAGEANT has given to Bakalarr School has generated a resurgence of enthusiasm in many aspects of physical education. It has enabled the school to offer Sports Science as an exam subject and the children are now able to enter competitions that were previously closed to them. Bakalarr won the District Athletics Schools competition in January 2004, having competed against several larger and longer established schools. This means that they will be able to take part in the National Schools Competition in April 2004, which takes place in the National Stadium near Banjul - they will also be able to host the District event next year. The school is also hosting the Gala District Football Competition during the summer of 2004. Pippa and Ian took several items out in February to assist with this event, including footballs, pumps, a fully equipped First Aid haversack, whistles and lanyards for the referees, and a whiteboard and markers for recording the scores.

2 March 2004 - Raffle of watercolour bad news for mosquitoes An original watercolour donated by artist Joan Dobie raised over 200 when raffled at the Atlantic hotel in Banjul. The money was used to purchase mosquito nets for the village of Jarreng, which should considerably reduce the number of cases of malaria during this next rainy season.

31 January 2004 - Packing containers for the Gambia The next consignment of containers was packed with 189 boxes of Pageant-donated material and some furniture. As before, Pageant used containers being sent to The Gambia by the Friends of Gambian Schools (FROGS) charity, and again we would like to say how much we really appreciate this. We are thinking of having monthly packing/sorting meetings for local members, to spread the load out a bit. Contact Pageant for further details. Click here for a list of the sort of things needed, and see how things get distributed in The Gambia.

24 January 2004 - Pageant AGM 34 members attended the Pageant AGM, about three times as many as last year. Everyone seemed to be really pleased, both with progress and with the opportunity to meet other members.  In particular, those who have not been to The Gambia were keen to talk to those who had. The new Pageant business cards were ready (thanks for both speed and a very generous deal to ImPact Printing, tel. 01256 762490). Many members took some, and a large batch will be sent to The Gambia for Kemo and the Gambia Experience hotel reps to give to holiday makers who express interest in helping children or schools.

20 January 2004 - New page - women's groups In The Gambia, small agricultural and rural craft enterprises are often operated by women's groups. The women may have only a very basic education. Pageant helps the Busumbala Women's Group by providing literacy and numeracy classes. Click here for our new page.

03 January 2004 - Computers for The Gambia Brenda and Keith Farrington returned from The Gambia, after checking the progress of various IT installations. Computers, some donated by Oxford Instruments are being used in Crab Island School and the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital. Click here for their report.

Unwanted computers can make a vital contribution to developing countries like The Gambia, so if you have any which you want to donate please let us know and Pageant will collect and send them. See also the list of other suitable equipment, which we are always looking for.

News Archive 2003

27 November 2003 - School visits During the recent trip to The Gambia, Ian and Pippa visited 12 schools, 4 colleges and the University, and managed to see 51 of our 60 sponsored children. Educational supplies, including more microscopes donated by the RMS, were taken to the schools and colleges. full details and pictures

27 November 2003 - Sponsorship update The number of children sponsored by Pageant has now risen to 60. Most of these children are fully supported as described on our Sponsorship page. We have also set up an Emergency Fund for children who have progressed some way in school but whose parents can now not afford the fees. The fund provides for 'one-off' payments of a term's or a year's fees for these children who would otherwise be excluded from school at a crucial stage in their education. So far, 15 children have benefited from this fund and we would like to be able to extend it further. full details and pictures

9 November 2003 - Toilets at Bakalarr finished - more microscopes One of the highlights of Ian and Pippa's recent visit to The Gambia was the opening of the two toilet blocks at Bakalarr School. See the pictures The opening ceremony was part of a truly memorable day of celebration and welcome. Two further microscopes were presented to the school, as part of the batch of ten donated by the RMS, along with a large number of other items, and prizes were presented to winners of the Microscopical Drawing Competition.

30 September 2003 - Containers arrive in The Gambia The latest container load has reached The Gambia and has been unpacked. All the Pageant packages had arrived and most have been distributed. Some items await Pippa and Ian's visit in October. We are expecting pictures of the 'Handing over' Ceremony, and will put them on this page when we get them.

30 September 2003 - Sponsorship We have another five children fully sponsored and have arranged partial sponsorship (i.e. payment of fees, books and uniform only) to a further ten children from Pageant general funds.

30 September 2003 - New arrival The other exciting news is that Kemo and his wife Sonna now have a baby boy, born on Monday 22 September. Sonna went back to their home village, Jarreng, to have the baby. Photo's will follow in October!

28 August 2003 - Container load goes to The Gambia The latest consignment of equipment and supplies is on its way

28 August 2003 - More seeds and microscopes We received a large quantity of seeds from Suttons Seeds to send to The Gambia and the Royal Microscopical Society have sponsored the total cost of the 10 microscopes for school use that we bought (at 20% discount) from Pyser.

2 August 2003 - Horsham Rotary Club Charity Day Pageant had a stand at this event

July 2003 - Newsletter The latest edition of the newsletter was sent by post to all members in July. If you are not already a member, click here to find out about joining.

30 June 2003 - Garage Sale The Garage sale on 28 June made 110 profit - more than enough to send a secondary school age child to school for a year - and many of the visitors were sufficiently interested to take away info re membership etc and the website address.  Plus, several people brought donations of items to send out to The Gambia. So, in all, a pretty good day.

23 June 2003 - More microscopes Thanks to the Royal Microscopical Society, who are extending their sponsorship, and Pyser's discount, Pageant hope to be able to supply ten microscopes to Gambian schools, rather than the five which were planned.

23 June 2003 - Pippa's Article in RMS Proceedings Pippa Howard has written an article 'Taking microscopes to schools in The Gambia' in the June 2003 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society.

23 June 2003 - Toilet Blocks Latest pictures as work proceeds at Bakalarr Basic Cycle School

16 April 2003 Results of the microscope competition

8 April 2003 - Consignment of goodies reaches The Gambia

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Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963
Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963