Last Saturday, a group of volunteers, local people and staff members, gathered to help clean a ‘Daara’, which is the place where Talibé (people of low resources) live.After got lost for a bit in the streets of Saint Louis, we finally arrived to the meeting point at the area of ‘Diamaguene’, where the Daara is located.
Talibés, a nurse and the supervisor of the ‘Projects Abroad centre pour Jeunes’ Lamine Tall, along some volunteers and staff members got organized to help clean the place, where around 50 people live in very difficult conditions.
The activities consisted in cleaning the two rooms where talibés sleep and the common area where they receive the coranic education. Cleaning plates and cups where also part of the activities.
Removing trash, moving books and folding clothes, the time went very fast due to the cooperation of the many people there and after an hour and a half the first part of the work was done.
After we finished, all of us we sat on the common area to hear Lamine, talking to the Talibés about the importance of keeping the Daraa clean and invited everyone to have more conscious about personal hygiene and trash management.
Also, the Talibés where invited to the Centre pour jeunes, where then will have the chance to have a shower and do some activities supported by the volunteers, such as maths or learning French.
I want to thank the volunteers who attended this activity, probably would seem that it was just a tiny effort, but be sure that was a big help for the Talibés.
Thank you very much!!
On arrival at Dakar airport at 5:00am, I was picked up as promised by a Projects Abroad operative, and fell immediately asleep in the back of the taxi. When I awoke, we had stopped for coffee on a stretch of the desert road lined by corrugated iron shacks and the shrubs and bushels of an otherwise arid landscape. It was still cool, and the twilight had not yet transformed into the bright heat of the day. The massive silence, the dust cloud that hung over the road for several minutes with every car, and the eyes of curious children peering through the gaps of my embroidered sun screens at the mysterious cargo, making me feel like some ridiculous Imperial figure being ferried through the wilderness, assured me that I was a long way from South London. I had the same feeling as I sat down for my first meal with my host family with the women sat on the floor, ‘la chef de la famille’ and I on stools, with pieces of fish thrown to our sections of the plate. The faltering French conversation was accompanied by the soundtrack of Saint Louis- the incessant baying of goats, the patter of distant djembes, the meandering tones of Koranic chanting, and of course, five times a day, the bellowing call to prayer
I would recommend to anyone that they volunteer themselves here; the city is lively, vibrant, and embarrassingly welcoming. People here are quick to help you and feed you, and friendships are effortlessly made. My project was under the title of Music,
Alioune Mbow, the manager of Mama Sadio’s backing band with whom PA had been in touch came to the fore, and took me under his wing and into his capable hands with such wonderful care and generosity as I could not have wished for. I was soon attending band rehearsals, learning the art of djembe with the MS percussionist, eating chez Mama everyday and being introduced as a fully fledged band member to the packed audiences of the shows in town, at which I was performing within a couple of weeks.
Under the stars and overhanging leaves in the gardens of Mikabox, La Taverne, Chez Agnes and L’institute Francaise, improvising, jamming and soloing with those who automatically became my tightly knit circle of friends, I could not have been happier. Should you decide to come and play with a band here, you will undoubtedly feel the same surreal contentment as you round off a number and swagger through the sweating, breathless crowds of soon to be familiar faces to buy a well deserved Flag, or Gazelle – perhaps the major dichotomy in Senegal- or a Fanta if you’re feeling professional.
In short, I would recommend the informative and profoundly valuable experience of life and work in a foreign country to everyone, undergraduates and normal people alike.
Located in the area of Sor, and around 25 minutes from the downtown of St. Louis is located the ‘Centre pour Jeunes de Projects Abroad’ where volunteers work along the local staff organizing activities for the Talibé kids (children with low resources).
The programme aims to provide Talibés daily socio-educational support and care at the centre and directly into their own environment (school and home). This programme is beneficial for the talibés as it considerably participates in the improvement of their living conditions through a series of varied activities.
Volunteers work alongside qualified staff (a nurse, a teacher and a social worker) who will helped them understand the work field and get used to the local operational procedures.
Besides to help with the day–to–day, volunteers are always able to plan their own activities where children can get involved to keep them amused and occupied.
Before the construction of the current bridge, until the 19th century, access to the island was made through boats. In 1858, Louis Faidherbe the governor of Senegal inaugurated the Bouteville ; a ferry service able to transport 150 passengers but it was quickly overrun. Due to this, The Minister of Algeria and the African Colonies, approved the construction of a floating bridge, which was named Faidherbe Bridge by a decree of Napleon III of France
Opened on July 2, 1865, the bridge had a total length of 680 metres; the floating part of the bridge had a length of 350 metres and a width of 4 metres. The first bridge remained in service 32 years, until 1897, when it was dismantled.
In 1892, the governor Henri de Lamothe decided to take a loan worth five million gold francs to construct a new metallic bridge in Saint-Louis.After the construction company was selected, they all decided to construct a new metallic bridge with a section capable of turning 90 degrees to allow the passage of ships.
The bridge was opened on July 14 1897 and after more than 100 years since it was opened the bridge has suffered from corrosion and was in need of urgent repair. By the last month, all but one of the spans have been replaced.
With this question our quiz night started last Wednesday in the weekly event over here
Every week, volunteers and members of the staff we gather to have our quiz night; the way it works is quite simple: the team who had less points on the previous quiz night, is in charge to do the one for the next week.
Divided by teams, volunteers made their best to win this competition, the reason: 10, 000 CFAs (25 US dollars) for the winner. Money that will be used to make a donation to one of the different projects where volunteers work
20 questions after we had a winner team: Andrea, Naomi, Tim and Viktor got the 10, 000 CFAs, money that they are going to use to buy toothbrushes for the kids at the Talibe Centre (low resources children).
It was a very good night to see each other and support a good cause and we are waiting for the next one. In the meantime, I have to go to write the next quiz; unfortunately our team lost but we will win the next one! Wanna join us?
Stay tuned on the result of our next quiz night!!! I am pretty sure it will be more positive for my team!
Visit Our Main Sites
Be Our Friend