17 March 2008


The Chairman of Marlborough-Gunjur link visits Gunjur Village

The chairman of Gunjur - Marlborough link Dr. Nick Mores is on a two-week visit to Gunjur with a view to strengthening the link and also preparing the ground for the 25th anniversary celebration of the link which commenced in 1982. Every year groups of visitors from Marlborough come to Gunjur and reside with local families in a bid to promote cultural exchange. On a visit to the head of women [Nansinba], Dr. Mores expressed satisfaction with the link’s progress and also pledged support to the women’s horticultural garden, which is also a project accomplished by the link and employs about 63 women who are engaged in growing vegetables. Dr Nick Mores expressed similar sentiments on visits to the alkalo [village head]. He also visited the pre-school, which is also run by the school and thanked the staff for their hard work and commitment.
In a similar engagement he also met the vice president Isatou Njie Saidy alongside other members of the link and the chief of the village to inform her about the activities of the link. [I hail from Gunjur and have been monitoring his visit]

16 March 2008


Three more blog members - Bakary Gitteh

Bakary Gitteh is headmaster of Bakalarr Basic Cycle School, on the north bank of the Gambia River. Bakalarr is the first school that Pageant started to support, and Bakary has been the driving force behind the fantastic improvements at this school. As well as covering events at his school, we hope that he will report on the women's group and market at Sika and the Artemisia plantation trials.

Lamin Kebbah

Lamin Kebbeh, has finished school now and has just started to do nursing, training at an up-country hospital at Mansa Konko, near Soma. We hope he can bring us news of events in up-country Gambia, far from the Banjul-Serekunda metropolis.

Alhassan Darboe

Alhassan Darboe is Sainey's twin brother. He is also a student at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Serekunda, and is hoping to become a journalist.

14 March 2008


Another new member of the blog team

We welcome Sainey Darboe as our second contributor to this blog in The Gambia. Sainey, together with his twin brother Alhassan, is studying at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Serekunda. Both are hoping to become journalists.

This picture shows Sainey. We are hoping that Alhassan will also be joining the team soon.


I am glad to join Pageant blog team

It gives me great pleasure to join Pageant News and be able to send news to the blog, which to me is the beginning of the actualisation of my long-time dream of becoming a journalist.
I would love to say a huge thanks to the blog master and any and everybody who contributes to this blog and hope to post soon.

13 March 2008


New team member

We welcome Lamin Jammeh to the Pageant News Blog team. You will see his first post just before this one. Lamin is one of Pageant's sponsored students, and is currently doing a computer maintenance course at GTMI, (Gambia Telecommunications & Multimedia Institute)in Banjul. He will be bringing us news from GTMI and his local area which is relevant to Pageant's work.

We hope to have a more contributors in The Gambia soon, which will give this blog a new Gambian dimension.

12 March 2008



Hello everybody.
How are you all doing at the moment? Hope you are all doing ok and fine, as I am doing here with my family.
Well I am very glad to join Pageant News Blog because Pippa has done some great things to my life and career. She has paid for my IT course certificate level at GTMI, and I was very happy about that with all my family as well. They are all praying for you all.
Let me stop here because is late now but I will post more later ok.
More thanks from
Lamin GTMI

05 March 2008


Thanks for your company and all your hard work, girls....

This is just to say a big thank-you to our intrepid threesome for all their hard work with the schools, for getting all the news up on the blog during our trip and for all the laughs we had during our various Gambian experiences in February. We really enjoyed having you with us - my main fear is that the Pageant webmaster will now expect this sort of news update on EVERY trip....
I am attaching a photo of you all on our last evening, when, for a change, we were all clean and tidy! Do come again - it won't be the same without you.
Lots of love, Pippa
PS Our thanks to Sarah and Chris, too - they may only have spent a week each with us, but they both made their mark. We hope they each enjoyed their first Gambian trip - we did!

04 March 2008


Our last two days =(

Monday 25th

On Monday we had an exceedingly lazy day at the hotel whilst Pippa and Ian had a mad and very long day visiting loads of schools, including Brikama, Siffoe, Jambanjali, Banyaka, and loads of sponsored children to give out almost all the rest of the sponsorship money. Back at the hotel, we treated ourselves to a pedicure, and watched the best entertainment of the trip (water aerobics in the hotel pool!) In the evening, we took some of PAGEANT's older sponsored children out for dinner (see top picture) which was really fun as we were all similar ages and had lots in common!

Tuesday 26th - Our last full day =(

On Tuesday we visited lots of schools including St Augustine's where we gave a trekker microscope (see picture) and lots of sports equipment including basketballs and football kit. They were so delighted with all the gifts especially the football kit as they had been renting kit for their tournaments. We visited Sinchu Baliya LBS where we saw huge improvements that had been made to their classroom blocks - the scouts had painted all the outside walls and were in the process of renovating the insides. We also visited Campama where we did several days teaching earlier in our stay to agree plans for 2 new standpipes for the school yard.

In the evening, the PAGEANT team enjoyed a lovely meal in the beautiful surroundings of Ngala Lodge Hotel in the company of Linda - it was a great way to round off a fantastic visit and celebrate all our hard work!
We all had an amazing time in The Gambia and were looking forward to seeing everyone back home but were very sad to be leaving! We are already making plans to return next year! We three girls would like to say thank you to all the Gambians who helped us along the way, especially Wandifa who looked after us so brilliantly and was an absolute star!!
This is us signing off
Frances, Rosie and Lauren xxx


Our last few days in The Gambia

First of all, apologies for the last instalment of our blog being so late - we ran out of time to type it up in The Gambia and since our return we've all been working back in our normal jobs! But here it is...

Sunday 24th

Sunday was one of the best days of our trip! Like last Sunday, we took 12 sponsored children shopping in Banjul market, and gave each child (and Wandifa) 250 Dalasis to buy whatever they wanted. We then took them to a local restaurant, Billy's, for lunch, which they thoroughly enjoyed (chicken and chips!). We gave out prizes for the two best shoppers - earrings for the best girl and a wind-up torch for the best boy. They were then desperate to come back to the hotel beach for a drink and swim in the sea; some of the children had never been in the sea before so they were extremely excited. Rosie and Frances got pulled in fully clothed while Lauren was left in charge of the little ones. Pippa played a game of pairs with a group of the children, whilst the rest of us tucked in to a big bag of chocolate coins!

In the evening, we'd all been invited to a thankyou cocktail party at KMJ nursery (where we taught in the first week). This was even more fun than we expected - we arrived to see a big 'Thankyou PAGEANT' banner on the wall, and lots of seats around a long table decorated with flowers! All the teachers were there - Jai, the headmistress, Ansumana, the administrator, Ousainou, the accountant, and the class teachers; Fatou, Tumani, Mamadi. Ansumana's family also joined us for dinner and after a bit of dancing we were presented with lovely presents and a certificate each to say thankyou! The teachers said they had learned a lot from us and that they had really enjoyed our visit, and we said how much we had enjoyed ourselves there and that we're definately hoping to come back next year!