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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

News and Events Archive 2008-9

Warning - This is an archive. Links to external websites may not still work
News Archive October - December 2009

14 December 2009 - Chestnut Grove School in Balham, London has strengthened their connection with Banyaka Lower Basic School in The Gambia. They already have links between the pupils at both schools, and have helped Banyaka LBS in many ways. They have now decided to use Pageant to deliver the results of their regular fundraising for Banyaka LBS, and have given us 500 for the sponsorship of two pupils and a project at the school yet to be decided. (more details)

29 November 2009 - Vivace! Concert in aid of Pageant at Southwater Church on 22 November has raised  191.53 for Pageant.  (see details)

28 November 2009 - Sheik Hatab Memorial Nursery School in Gunjur opened a year ago with the help of donated furniture supplied by Pageant. We are now financing renovations to the perimeter wall, and then we plan to provide funding for a new kitchen. (more details on their new webpage)

22 November 2009 - Microscopy Workshops - We are planning to run Microscopy Workshops for teachers in The Gambia so they can pass on  practical microscopy skills to their students. Pageant has been awarded 3,000 by the Royal Microscopical Society Vice President’s fund to help set up the first workshop in February 2010. (more details)

15 November 2009 - Pippa and Ian's latest Gambia trip - Pippa has posted details of their recent visit to The Gambia on the Pageant News Blog. We have collected the posts on this web page.

14 November 2009 - Gunjur Loan Scheme - We have started one of our loan schemes at Gunjur, with 6 local ladies recieving a micro-loan to start a small business. (see details)

25 October 2009 - Sarah Hayes has completed the Marine Corps 10k race in Washington DC, with a chip time of 49 mins 18 secs, equalling her personal best. See Sarah's page for more details and pictures of the race, and to make your sponsorship donation.

19 Oct 2009 - Virgin Money Giving - We have a new online donation facility at Virgin Money Giving. Check out our home page on their site. Virgin Money Giving offers free sign-up to fundraisers and then an easy way of creating your own fundraising page. They also charge Pageant much less for processing donations, and get the money to us quickly.

7 Oct 2009 - HopeFirst Foundation's work at Jurunku - This USA based charity is now helping the school and village, and has installed a solar power system at the school. (further details)

4 Oct 2009 - update on Sarah Hayes - Sarah's latest 10km races in preparation for the Marine Corps race were the BUPA Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield, with a time of 53 mins 41 secs, and the Marple 'Trail' run with a time of 49 mins 59 secs, followed by the 5k Manchester Tree-Athlon in 23 mins 43 secs. See Sarah's page for more details.

News Archive July - September 2009

5 Sept 2009 - unloading container in The Gambia - emails from Pageant's team there

25 August 2009 - Golf Day in Wales - Postponed  (further details)

23 August 2009 - update on Sarah Hayes - Sarah's recent preparations for the Marine Corps 10k race have included 10k races at Hackney and Warrington, with steadily improving times. See Sarah's sponsorship page.

15 August 2009 - Computer viruses in The Gambia - How are viruses affecting computer users in The Gambia, and what can we do to help. See post on the Pageant News blog.

12 August 2009 - update on Sarah Hayes - Sarah has now raised sponsorship of 860 through Pageant. In preparation for the Marine Corps 10k race on 25 October in Washington DC, she has done hill training in Italy, and has run in 3 10km races in the UK. Help her to raise funds for Barra/Essau Upper Basic School. See Sarah's sponsorship page.

29 July 2009 - Another container for The Gambia - On Tuesday 28 July 2009, a Pageant team packed another container for The Gambia. This contained library shelving units, classroom furniture, school uniforms, sports clothes and equipment, general clothing, books, toys, tools etc. (further details)

21 July 2009 - Horsham Rotary Club Charity Fair  - was held in Horsham Park on Sunday 19 July 2009, as part of the District Council Festival. As previously, Pageant had a stall there, selling Gambian craft items and publicising our work in The Gambia. With many other attractions, visitors spent less time at the Charity stands. Even so, we made 113 on the day and had several interested visitors. (further details)

19 July 2009 - Open House for members - Pippa and Ian hosted their annual 'Open House' day for Pageant Members on 12 July 2009. This was attended by over 50 of our enthusiastic members, who enjoyed the sunshine (we were very lucky with the weather!), buffet lunch, drinks, tea and coffee as well as chatting about all things Gambian. See this news item for a full description and photos.

9 July 2009 - Golf Day in Wales - Two Pageant members are organising an open Golf Day at Blackwood Golf Club near Cardiff, on Saturday 12 September. Teams of four are invited to play 18 holes for 40 per team. All proceeds will be split between Pageant and Macmillan Cancer Care. (further details)

7 July 2009 - Sarah Hayes, Marine Corps 10k race - Sarah is running the Marine Corps 10km race in Washington DC on 25 October 2009, raising funds to help Barra/Essau Upper Basic School in The Gambia. For further information, see Sarah's sponsorship page.

6 July 2009 - lots of updates - We have updated quite a number of pages with latest news. Members will already have seen most of this in the Newsletter which was sent out recently:

Kings Kid Academy - completion of lots of building work, Art and English sessions

Bakalarr BCS - completion of new staff accommodation

Brikamedina Nursery School - refurbished classrooms in full use

Sika Women's Village Market - a big success story for Pageant loans

1 July 2009 - Elena raises €200 for Pageant - After a visit to a school in The Gambia, Elena Tassi has raised €200 to say thank-you for their hospitality. Pageant would like to use this to help the school - but first we need identify which school it was! (more details and pictures)

News Archive April - June 2009

9 June 2009 - Microsoft moves the goalposts - Pageant's webmaster complains about Internet Explorer 8.0 and how it doesn't display Pageant's web pages properly. (read more)

24 May 2009 - Nigel Walsh has completed the 2009 Comrades Marathon in South Africa, running the 89.17km between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in a time of 11 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds. See his webpage for more details.

30 April 2009 - Gambia Trip - The final instalments have now been posted on the Pageant News Blog, and have been added to our news page.

29 April 2009 - Nigel Walsh runs the 2009 Comrades Marathon - On 24 May 2009, Nigel Walsh will tackle the 56-mile Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa for the tenth time. It is the biggest sporting event on the South African calendar, attracting fields of between 10,000 and 15,000 runners to a tough, steeply undulating route between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. He will be raising funds for Pageant's projects in The Gambia, so please sponsor him if you can. (more details)

28 April 2009 - Bumper Bundle for Jarreng - Christmas 2008 produced the largest ever amount donated for mosquito nets through the Pageant Ethical Gift Token scheme. We received enough money to buy 50 family sized nets, which we took to Jarreng for distribution. (more details)

28 April 2009 - Artemisia Project update - A herbal tea made from the leaves of Artemisia annua variety Anamed is an effective ant-malarial treatment. Pageant has so far financed the Gambian National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) to grow and provide Artemisia annua seedlings to two groups of five villages, oversee their continued cultivation and advise on harvesting and preparation of the tea. See update on our Artemisia Project page. If you would like to help raise 2500 to fund the next group of five villages, please send a cheque or you can donate online.

26 April 2009 - The Big Read - Worldwide, there are 774 million illiterate adults, 75 million children out of primary school and 226 million children not in secondary school. Nearly all governments have promised ‘Education for All’ by 2015. The Big Read is taking place across the world, with distribution of a free book of short stories by leading figures, Nobel Peace Prize winners and award winning authors. The Gambia's highlight event will take place at Gambia College, (the national teacher training centre). Stories and testimonies from Gambia’s celebrities and learners are being presented against a backdrop of songs on the theme of adult literacy that have been written by trainee teachers. There are also events taking place in literacy centres across the country. See more on this Gambia Observer news item.

23 April 2009 - Gambia Trip - from the Blog - Pippa, Tina, Frances and Claire have just returned from a two week trip to The Gambia. Frances posted news items on our News Blog during the trip, and both Sainey and Alhassan Darboe added their descriptions of the 'up-river' trip to Jarreng. We are collecting all the posts and pictures together on this news page. and will add to it as more posts appear.

News Archive January - March 2009

28 March 2009 - Updates to Schools Index - We have added to new schools to our Schools Index, and also implemented an alphabetic menu system for finding particular schools. (See our Schools Index)

18 March 2009 - Alhassan Darboe wins essay prize - One the Pageant Blog team in The Gambia, Alhassan Darboe, has won first prize in a 'Black History Month' essay competition organised by the US Embassy in Banjul. He received a number of prizes, including $250 in cash. (more details)

13 March 2009 - djb donate more science equipment - Derek Walker, who runs djb microtech, has generously donated more sets of school science equipment. Pippa took these to several schools in The Gambia during her recent trip. (more details)

20 February 2009 - Abuko Visit - June & Brian visited Abuko Lower Basic School during their Gambian holiday (more details)

19 February 2009 - Gambia Visit - A party of Pageant members is currently visiting The Gambia. Helen Groves has posted a number of reports on their visit on our Pageant News Blog. Keep checking for the latest updates.

5 February 2009 - Nursery Furniture arrives in The Gambia - Linda Murgatroyd tells us that the consignment of nursery furniture and other items has arrived and is being distributed. (details of packing)

1 February 2009 - 350 from Braintree church - Pageant would like to say a big thank-you to the members of Christ Church in Braintree, Essex. They have a tradition of not sending individual Christmas cards to each other, but all signing one large card. They then put the money that would otherwise be spent on cards and postage into a fund to help a chosen charity. This year they chose Pageant, and contributions were linked to items in the nativity story, and to Pageant's ethical gifts scheme: Joseph - Carpentry Tools and Training; Stars - Solar Lanterns.

26 January 2009 - Pageant AGM The seventh Pageant AGM took place on Sunday 25 January 2009. It was attended by 49 members. See this news item for more details. Next year's AGM has been provisionally set for Sunday 24 January 2010.

14 January 2009 - Nursery School Furniture for Gambian Schools - Furniture donated by Shelley Primary School and Littlehaven Infant School is being sent to nursery schools at Campama and Gunjur. (more details)

2 January 2009 - Pageant Annual General Meeting - will be held on Sunday 25 January 2009 at 2.30pm at Old School, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9DT. All members should have received an email invitation.

2 January 2009 - Plymouth Dakar Challenge - For the first time in several years, there are no teams in the challenge raising funds for Pageant. However, we thought you might like news of this year's event. The challenge is now split between four destinations, two of them new.

News Archive October - December 2008

15 December 2008 - Trafalgar School Secret Market - Pageant's stall at the 'secret market' held at the school on 11 December raised 170. This will be used to support the link between Trafalgar and Kings Kid Academy in The Gambia. (more details)

26 November 2008 - Vivace! Concert - the acclaimed Sussex choir Vivace! gave another successful concert in Southwater Parish Church. on Sunday 23 November. There was a varied programme, ranging from plainsong to songs from Broadway shows and African music. The concert raised 236 for Pageant after paying all expenses. (more details)

20 November - Update from JTT Nursery School - photos of the progress made at this school over the last year or so. (see details)

14 November - Ethical Gifts for Christmas - We have pleasure in announcing our completely updated Ethical Gifts page - just in time for Christmas. We have a list of Ethical Gifts starting at just 6.50, including items offered in partnership with the Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group.  We have finalised the prices, after some large variations in the exchange rate between the UK Pound and the Gambian Dalasi, and have simplified the list by removing items which very few people have purchased. Regretfully, we have dropped the popular 'donkey plus' gift, as the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust only have sufficient resources to look after donkeys already on the scheme. (see the Gifts Page)

1 November 2008 - News from The Gambia - Pippa and Ian are in The Gambia. Our Blog Team there is keeping us in touch with their activities on our News Blog. (see details)

5 October 2008 - New school year starts in The Gambia - With the start of the new school year, we have updated our list of students requiring sponsorship. (see details)

5 October 2008 - Fundraising and Donations Update - Pageant has recently received nearly 6000 raised during fundraising events. (see details)

News Archive July - September 2008

25 September 2008 - Gambia Guide and Promotion Books - Andy Robinson of Affording Gambia VIP has announced the new 2008/2009 'Discovering with Discount' Guide and Promotion Books, which provide an invaluable guide to The Gambia and offer discounts to shops restaurants etc. which can more than cover the cost of the books. Andy has generously offered to make a donation to Pageant when anyone purchases either or both books after visiting our news page.

23 September 2008 - Packing a container - A bunch of Pageant members have just finished packing a container with furniture, educational supplies and other goods. (see details)

2 September 2008 - Open House July 2008 - Pippa and Ian hosted their annual Open House day for Pageant members on Sunday 20 July 2008. (see pictures)

1 September 2008 - Fundraisers Page - Pageant has now registered with MyCharityPage, so anyone planning an exciting challenge or other fundraising event can use this to channel their online sponsorship donations to Pageant. Find out more on our fundraisers page.

25 August 2008 - Donations from two schools - The William Barcroft Junior School in Cleethorpes has donated 216.33, and the Bishopsgate School in Egham has donated 500. (see details)

News Archive April - June 2008

17 June 2008 - Progress in building work - Building work has progressed well in four schools, taking full advantage of the period before the rainy season begins.

  • Brikamedina is a village on the southern edges of Brikama town. The village started a nursery school as a local initiative, on land donated by the village mosque. Pageant is funding completion of the building work here. (see details)
  • At Bakalarr, work is progressing on the construction of an accommodation block for school staff.  (see details)
  • Kings Kid Academy are constructing a new classroom block. (see details)
  • At Siffoe, they have finally completed work on a new block of five classrooms. (see details)

16 June 2008 - Toilets and Textbooks - Nigel Walsh has completed Comrades Ultra-Marathon (56 miles) in South Africa. He finished the gruelling race in 11 hours, 16 minutes and 15 seconds. (see details)

6 June 2008 - Schools Index We have produced an index to Gambian (and UK) schools which Pageant is associated with - both those with major projects, and those which just have sponsored pupils. We have used Google Maps to plot the location of each school. Sometimes this is just the general area, but in many cases in 'satellite' mode you can zoom in to see the actual buildings. Our Schools page contains an enormous amount of information, so there are probably lots of errors. If you spot anything you think we have got wrong, then please let us know.

26 May 2008 - Toilets & Textbooks - Change of Plan - The team will not be able to visit Kings Kid Academy in July to construct the new toilets. Instead local tradesmen will build the toilets.

20 May 2008 - Maps showing Gambian schools - We have created a number of Google Maps which show the exact location of many of the schools which Pageant is associated with in The Gambia:

Make sure you select the 'Satellite' view, and in many cases you can zoom in to see the actual buildings. Please let us know if we have got anything wrong.

1 May 2008 - Ridgemede Junior School now has its own page on the Pageant website. In their most recent fundraising event, they have raised 421 to sponsor children and provide educational equipment at Abuko Lower Basic School.

15 April 2008 - Nigel Walsh will be running in the 56 mile Comrades UltraMarathon in South Africa on 15 June to raise money for the Toilets and Textbooks project. See further details and a link to sponsor him.

10 April 2008 - Mahmoud Achten Nursery School - This is the latest school to be brought under Pageant's umbrella. John Emery and Jane Bull have been helping this school for over a year, and have achieved some great improvements. A lot still needs to be done and the school will need continuing support.

9 April 2008 - Foundation for Disabled People update - hand over of 15 wheelchairs built with the money from the Mayor of Haslemere’s fund.

8 April 2008 - Quotes from sponsored children - Read what our sponsored children have written in letters to Pageant.

5 April 2008 - Furniture shipment from Harwell - UKAEA and NDA joined forces with Pageant to ship surplus furniture to schools in The Gambia.

5 April 2008 - Toilets and Textbooks - Students from Oakham School and Copenhagen International School will be travelling to The Gambia in July to build new toilets for Kings Kid Academy. See our new web page for further information.

News Archive January - March 2008

20 March 2008 - Chris Robertson's Gambia Diary - Chris has compiled a diary (with pictures) relating his exploits during his visit to The Gambia in February. This complements the blog postings included in Live from The Gambia.

18 March 2008 - Revised Sponsorship Costs - For the first time in seven years, Pageant has had to increase the cost of sponsoring children and young people's education in The Gambia. (See note about revised costs)

16 March 2008 - Five new members for the Blog Team - We are pleased to announce that we now have five new contributors to the Pageant News Blog in The Gambia. Meet the new team members.

13 March 2008 - Breaking news from The Gambia - We are in the process of signing up team members in The Gambia who will be able to report directly on local news relevant to Pageant's activities. Our first new team member, Lamin Jammeh, has made his first post. Check the Pageant News Blog for the latest news from The Gambia.

5 March 2008 - Live from The Gambia Pageant members Frances, Lauren, Rosie and Sarah have spent a large part of their recent trip to the Gambia teaching at KMJ Nursery School and Campama Lower Basic School in Banjul. Following this Frances, Lauren and Rosie, together with Ian, Pippa and Chris, made a trip up-country to visit schools at Bakalarr, Jarreng and Jurunku. Later they visited more schools in Banjul. During this time, Frances has kept us up-to-date with their exploits on the Pageant News Blog. These reports have been copied onto our Live from The Gambia page as a permanent record.

30 January 2008 - Transplant Titans have reached Banjul They left Manchester on Friday morning, 11 January, heading for Portsmouth and the overnight ferry to St Malo. They then drove south via Bordeaux, crossed the Pyrenees into Spain, spending the night at Burgos. From there they drove across Spain to Tarifa, and spent a whole day there. On Tuesday 15 January they took the ferry to Tangier, and drove to Rabat for an overnight stop. Their journey through Morocco has featured overnight stops at Marrakech, and Ouarzazate, and Sidi Ifni. On Saturday 19 January they drove to Laayoune in Western Sahara, and on Sunday headed south to Dakhla. After a day's rest, they headed into Mauritania and the desert, where mobile phones don't work. After three days, they were in touch again and had a rest day at Zebrabar just inside Senagal. On Sunday 27 January, they set off on the final leg of the journey across Senegal and into he Gambia. They caught the early morning ferry across the Gambia River and arrived at the finishing point at 9.15am on Monday 28 January. On Tuesday and Wednesday they visited Kings Kid Academy and other schools, and were given a tour of rural Gambia by Pageant agent Wandifa. (see daily progress reports)

20 January 2008 - The 4Ts adventure is over The teams left the UK on 26 December, travelled by ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao in Spain and drove through Spain to Tarifa. They  crossed over to Morocco by ferry reaching Fez on 29 December, and then via Er-Rachida, reaching Tata on 2 January 2008. They left the Atlas Mountains and headed south along the coast into Western Sahara, camping near Laayoune. On 5 January, they crossed the border into Mauritania, reaching Nouakchott on 6 January and crossed the desert towards Nema. By 10 January they were into Mali and reached Timbuctu on 11th. On 12 January, they visited the Festival of the Desert. On 13th they returned to Timbuctu, where they sold both cars, and set off to tour Dogon country using a hired car and driver, with overnight stops at Mopti, Djenne and Segou. They spent a day relaxing in Bamako, before flying home via Casablanca. So that's the end of another adventure! We have some new photos, and hope to have a full report on their trip soon. (see daily progress reports)

5 January 2008 - Trouble in Mauritania The Lisbon-Dakar Rally has been cancelled due to the shooting of four French tourists in Mauritania. This may affect teams taking part in the Plymouth-Bamako and Plymouth-Banjul Challenges. (see news item)

3 January 2008 - Transplant Titans ready to go on 11 January Final preparations are in hand for departure in a weeks time. We will bring you news of their progress as we get it.  (more details)
Also, the Transplant Titans Blog was launched today, giving you an alternative way of keeping up with the latest news.

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