PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Sponsorship in Action
Sponsor a Gambian child's education
How sponsorship works
Ourtells 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
, 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:
- Since when I was very young during my Junior School you keep me in school by sponsoring me without which I would have been a school dropout due to the financial difficulties I was suffering from. But, you wipe all the tear from my eye and you make me to be the most happiest person today, because, I can read and write due to your support.... I will like you to know that I will be willing to be helpful to PAGEANT in any kind of support they need from me at any time because they are very instrumental in the development of Gambian education (for) the needy people. Extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the PAGEANT members in UK but my special and very best wishes is for you and your family always and for ever and ever.
- It was a great moment for me when I heard that you have come to my home to visit us. And you don't meet me there. On that day I went to work so that I will be able to help myself with some money for lunch. If I know that you are coming on that day I will wait for you because I don't have anybody who help me apart from you since my father died when I was in Grade 3.... It was a great pleasure for us when we heard that our friendly peoples are back to The Gambia again. We are again thanking you for your kindness and wonderful support to us. THANK U 4 MILLION TIMES.
- To be frank, the whole of my family are very happy to receive the news (of my sponsorship) from Mr Saidykhan and it was a celebration. We are very grateful and overjoyed because paying school fees and other family expenditure are too expensive for a poor family, for that reason we are very grateful..... A big thank you to all those who are concerned in the process - thank you very- very- very-much.
- I am very grateful to you for helping me to achieve my dreams by providing me with a good education. I will never stop thanking and praying for you for giving me the golden opportunity of a good education.
- Greetings from my heart for the lovely caring and helping hand you are giving to me as well.... I am very very very very happy to write you this letter as I cannot pay you for your lovely help you are doing for me right in my education. The only thing I can do at the moment is to pray for you and your husband for health life and lovely times in life. ..... I was wondering who will be my sponsor in my schooling as my mum died last year when I was in grade 12 before completing my schooling so that time it was a very big problem for me to pay my examination fees. When that happens to me I have to go to the bush to look for fire wood which the government don't allow it but I have to do it as I don't have no other choice ..... and my dad too who is old now he cannot do nothing as well. ... So now I am hearing the one who can sponsor me in my schooling and she told me that she will be talking with an organization called PAGEANT - she is sure they will be able to help me out from this problem so that is how my life was. Really I am thanking this organization for all the lovely helping hands you are having for me and the understanding as well for me...... Much love from your sponsored child.
Momodou told us: "I want to inform you that now I have a new job. Am working with
FENTA CONSULTANT ARCHITECTS, I get employed on the 21st of March,
and I have signed six months contract. Am promise that if I maintain
a satisfactory performance at the end of my contract I will be a
permanent staff. On this note, I want to thank you, Ian and the entire
Pageant Organisation very much for the great support for my education
funds and needs. PAGEANT Organisation thank you for helping young
Gambians through education, "JERRE JEFF" PAGEANT.
(Note: "JERRE JEFF" is Wolloff for thank-you.)
Am beginning to harvest what I have grown, am really enjoying the job am doing. I go to work from Monday to Friday, which makes me like it more. I work with top Engineers and contractors. I spend much time at the building site than the office, Mondays I work at the office, that is to submit my weekly report and on Wednesdays I also go to the office to update my drawings. The other days I work at the building site as clerk of work for Architect (my boss). The work I do at the site is to inform the Architect of deviations from job requirements, records and reports on work situations, Keeping records of daily work and ensuring that such works are carried out, making a record of all deliveries on site and I do conduct the weekly meeting on site between the Consultant, the Contractor, the Engineer and the Client, which is held on every Wednesday. I work closely with the contractor and am learning a lot from him.
I really enjoy working with all these people. At the end of the month I say thank God, am going to harvest what I have grown. I was very happy when I get paid the first month, I thank God and say in my mind you make it happen.THANK YOU. Now I will be able to help my mother with the family a little.
If you would like to sponsor a child or young person's education, then please look at. 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.