PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

Sponsorship in Action

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How sponsorship works

Our Sponsorship Page tells you the bare facts about sponsorship. This page explains how sponsorship is arranged, and tells the story of some of Pageant's sponsored children and young people.

Nearly all of the children being sponsored, and awaiting sponsorship attend one of the schools which Pageant helps. The head teachers of these schools are usually familiar with the family circumstances of their pupils, and are in an excellent position to check that sponsorship money is being spent correctly. Most recommendations for sponsorship, thus come through these head teachers. Once Pageant receives a recommendation, we add the student's details to our database, and publish a photo and brief details on our Sponsorship Enquiry Page.

Once a sponsor has selected a child or young adult, Pageant sends an information pack to the student containing a photograph of the sponsor, and a message from them. The student then fills in a form, giving more information about themselves and this is returned to the sponsor. Each year, the sponsor gets a report on the student's progress, plus a letter, drawing and/or a photograph. There is thus a direct link between sponsor and student.

a boy squats in the ground with his sponsorship form
Children filling in forms to return to their sponsors

more children filling in their sponsorship forms
Children filling in forms to return to their sponsors

Children filling in forms to return to their sponsors

EB, one of the sponsored children, having his sponsor's letter explained
EB having sponsors letter explained

another sponsored child, Fatou, is delighted with her good fortune at being sponsored
Fatou delighted at being sponsored

Alieu can now progress to Further Education, and poses with his sponsorship documents
Alieu with sponsorship documents

Emergency Sponsorship Fund

As well as normal sponsorship, Pageant has set up an Emergency Fund. This takes care of 'one-off' payments of school fees, for children who have progressed some way in school but whose parents can no longer afford the fees. Payments from this fund can make the difference between exclusion and being able to take an important exam.

Ian with five boys who would have been excluded from school for non-payment of fees, but will now be able to complete their Grade 9 examinations

Ian & five boys who completed their Grade 9 exams, thanks to Pageant's Emergency Fund

Twins re-united

One of the most moving sponsorship 'successes' in 2005 involved a pair of twins of early Primary school age. The twins' family could not afford to feed and clothe them, let alone send them to school - so, they were sent off to other parts of the extended family, separated not only from their home and parents, but also from each other. Sponsorship has enabled the family to get back together again - the twins are back at home and in school.

This picture shows Sanna & Sainey just after they were reunited with each other and with their parents.

It is also particularly pleasing to see the fruits of some of the sponsorship, in that some of 'our' youngsters are now using their qualifications to find sufficiently good jobs to help their families in their turn.

twins Sanna & Sainey after they were reunited

Sponsored boy becomes headmaster

Mr Bakary Gitteh, Headmaster of Bakalarr School, visited the UK during the summer of 2005. Only then did he tell us that a lady, Diana Wale, had sponsored him before Pageant was active and that this had enabled him to finish his schooling. Bakary asked us to try and trace her. Bakary had kept a photo of Diana which she had sent him in about 1990, and he remembered that she lived in the Isle of Wight. Pageant member Mo Dawkins did some detective work, involving the local Isle of Wight newspaper, which printed the photo, and also the local radio station. Diana was found, and eventually met Bakary in Mo's garden on the Isle of Wight. You can read the full story of this meeting and about the rest of Bakary's visit on this News Page.

Diana Wale meets Bakary Gitteh in Mo Dawkins garden
Diana Wale with Bakary

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

This story is a marvellous example of a boy who benefited from sponsorship and has made the most of his educational opportunities.

Sponsorship changes everything for a Gambian Family

This Gambian family were devastated when their father died very suddenly, but they have been able to pick themselves up from sheer despair with the help of sponsorship by Pageant members.

The elder brother and now head of the family (first photo above) took advantage of sponsorship to qualify in accountancy after a long break from education and got a job in the Customs Department. The three older girls studied while working part-time to help the family finances. The twins took their Grade 9 exam and the youngest daughter came first in both her school and regional Grade 5 exams. We congratulate them all... and their sponsors.

Momodou's story

Momodou is another of Pageant's sponsorship success stories. His brother was a woodcarver at the hotel at which his eventual sponsors were staying, and Momodou was helping out on his stall. He asked these two holiday-makers if he could borrow a book to read, and they were very impressed by him. When they got home they contacted us and decided to sponsor him to re-sit his Grade 12 at Nusrat as he had been unable to pay the exam fees and so had dropped out of education.

He did well in his Grade 12 exams and from there went on to GTTI (Gambia Technical Training Institute), where he studied to become an architect. He has now got his first job with Fenta Consultant Architects. We wish him well in his new career.

Momodou on site

Please read Momodou's message below, which shows how vitally important sponsorship is.

We will use this page to bring you more stories about how sponsorship is changing the lives of students in the Gambia.

Quotes from Sponsored Children

These quotes are from letters and emails from sponsored children - just in case anyone is in doubt as to how much their sponsorship is valued:

If you would like to sponsor a child or young person's education, then please look at our list of students seeking sponsorship. Everyone on this list has been carefully selected. We make sure that they are in genuine need of help, and that they have the necessary ability and determination to benefit from being allowed to continue their education.

Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963