We have our roots in Bassari country, Senegal: We gained our first experience in this region and it inspired us to choose the same name for our association. Here you can learn more about the first years of our association.
Following the example of the bush school in Bodar, we erected a similar building in Atoumar. Contrary to Bodar, one single classroom suffices for the first three elementary levels in this quarter of Salemata. It provides enough space for approximately 25 children. If one considers the inscription on the outer wall, one realises how urgent the need of school education is. It says: “Ecole d´Atoumar. Mérci Meusieu Piyér“ :-)
Jean-Paul is from the remote village of Ethiolo in Bassari County and has more than twenty siblings and half-siblings. Thanks to a scholarship he attends the nursing care school in Dakar since 2013. Afterwards, he’d like to improve the medical care situation in Bassari County. His scholarship covers school tuition, living expenses and was enough to buy a small notebook in 2014, which allows him to do research regarding medical and nursing care expert knowledge. This is a huge advantage in a school, where there are very few books available for the students.
In 2013, we supported an already existing women’s group in Salemata to plant vegetables both for their own needs and to sell them. Their old fence made out of straw mats proved to be insufficient to protect them from livestock, and the condition of their water well wasn’t good enough.
The cultivable gardening area was enhanced and fenced in with solid materials. We also built water reservoirs in between the water well and the garden to make watering much easier for the women. In the coming years, the women’s group pays back the costs in kind via produces for the boarding school, so both the women and the children attending boarding school benefit from this project.
Our first school building project was accomplished in Bodar, Bassary County. What used to be three straw huts was turned into a connecting brick school building, which defies the rains.
A total of 100 children now have new tables, desks, and a large blackboard available for their lessons. We are planning a similar smaller project in Atoumar.
The boarding school in Salemata was founded in 1999 and has been supported by several organizations from the start. Parents are asked for in kind payment that equals approximately €32 per school year. However, a lot of them are poor and cannot give this amount. That is why the boarding school only barely made ends meets and even had to turn students away, because funding wasn’t guaranteed. 120 children from remote villages call the boarding school home. Those children wouldn’t be able to attend school regularly if it weren’t for the boarding school due to the long travel distances. Our goal is to stabilize the overall situation of the boarding school by providing food and clothing and by paying part of the caretakers’ wages.