Senegal is a coastal country with a diverse environment ranging from tropical rainforest to desert. Ducere Foundation worked there in two coastal desert regions: Ton Tivaouane Peulh and the Apix Resettlement Zone.
Travelling to the schools was full of surprises. On arrival in the township, the sealed road stopped abruptly and we had to navigate desert sand in order to get to training at Tivaouane Peulh Elementary School. The high-heeled shoes we wore seemed out of place but African women, particularly the Senegalese, dress in the most beautiful silks and it was important to respect them with more formality.
The training was a wonderful experience. We were intrigued by each other and we learned so much. The success of the training was due to our Senegal Country Co-ordinator, Dr Oumar Diogoye Diouf, a brilliant academic who also translated many of our stories into English or French.
In total, twenty-three teachers from the six beneficiary schools were trained and at the end of the training, we managed to book a taxi, which was a donkey cart. Unusual and fun to ride, we laughed with new-found friends while feeling a little conspicuous as the children ran alongside waving and laughing.
The students who contributed to the African Children’s Stories Senegal collections came from both Tivaouane Peulh and the Apix Resettlement Zone where there was high value placed on education, as well as wonderful examples of student commitment and ambition. This was illustrated in the inspiring story written by Aliou Cisse Badiane and El Hadjii Samb,
‘Nafi studied hard at school ... years later she attained a Baccalaureate degree. Nafi went on to college and continued to work hard, eventually becoming a lawyer’.