23 March 2007


Seminars for Gambian science teachers

Joe Brock, Head of Science at Collyer's Sixth Form College in Horsham, has produced a new science handbook for teaching Upper Basic Science (roughly GCSE) and Senior Secondary Science (roughly AS level) in The Gambia. Joe's new book contains 73 experiments. He also designed kits containing items that are inexpensive and readily available, at least in UK, to conduct these experiments. 40 of these kits were assembled and taken to The Gambia by Joe, some of his students and some Pageant members. He gave a series of seminars for science teachers from 40 different schools, showing them how to use the book and kits for teaching their students. (read the full story)

14 March 2007


Pageant Loan Scheme

Micro-finance schemes operate in many countries of Africa, Asia and South America, but they are particularly common in rural South Africa. Micro-loans are offered to people who are too poor for normal banks to bother with, and enables them to set up their own small businesses. Pageant has set up some micro-loan schemes in The Gambia. Though Pageant provides the finance to start each scheme, they are run entirely by the village women. Women are lent 1500 Dalasis (about £30) to start or expand a small business, and they pay back 250 Dalasis (about £5) each month. When the whole sum had been repaid after six months, the money is available to be re-circulated to other village women.
Currently there are two Pageant Loan Schemes, in Sika and Bakalarr. The Sika scheme is going extremely well. The third batch of women is just about to complete their loan, with all making full repayments on time. Six more ladies are eagerly waiting for their turn, and ALL the women of the first and second groups are still trading - a real success story. The first group in Bakalarr is coming to completion, and again, they are all paying back the correct amount and on time.
Pageant is ready to expand the scheme to two more villages, and are currently looking for ladies to run these schemes, who are locally respected and can communicate well.
Read more about the Pageant Loan Scheme, and see the latest update on the Sika and Bakalarr schemes.


07 March 2007


Sarjo's New Wheelchair

Sarjo Badjie is a handicapped boy who has just moved to a new school in the Gambia. His journey from home to the school is about 2Km along sandy country roads. He had to get several people to push and pull him along with his old chair, as the small front wheels kept getting stuck in the soft sand. He really needed something rather more suitable, so Pageant arranged for him to get a special wheelchair made in the workshops of the Foundation for the Disabled in Banjul. This has three large wheels and is specially designed for the Gambian sandy tracks. Sarjo is delighted with his new wheelchair, which is so much easier to use on his journey to school, though he can still get someone to help him over the really rough patches if needed.
See more pictures

03 March 2007


Exhibition & Sale of Pictures

Pageant is holding an exhibition of paintings in Horsham Library from 10-24 March. The pictures are original paintings in watercolour and gouache on A4 sized art paper by an A-level student, Ousman F Sowe, of Essau Senior Secondary School in The Gambia. Ousman paints pictures based on scenes related to The Gambia and the proceeds of their sale are helping him to continue his education and develop his artistic talents. Ousman's home is close to the village of Kunta Kinteh (of the book 'Roots', by Alex Hailey) and many of his pictures depict aspects of the slave trade of bygone years.

Admittance to the exhibition is free and the paintings will be for sale from the exhibition. The library staff will put the customary red dot on any picture that is sold, but purchasers can arrange collection as soon as they wish, rather than wait until the exhibition ends. We have replacements to fill up any spaces. Very reasonable prices: unmounted original picture £10, mounted original picture £12, framed original picture £20. A4 size prints £3.