Jun 3, 2019

Innovative Learning: Sous L'eau / Children's Underwater Exploration in Senegal

immersive underwater environment
immersive underwater environment

Since April 2019, Ker Imagination has been slowly transforming into an underwater world!

We have been working with the children of Dakar and most specifically Yoff  to explore the secrets of the sea. Over the last six weeks, we have investigated the properties of water examining density, content and water changements.

We have learned about different professions underwater and even constructed a boat. We have had discussions about the importance of the ocean and how we can best protect it. We have interviewed the local communities to find out the importance of the sea to those who live around it.

Bringing all this together, the Ker Imagination team has curated an interactive and engaging exhibition for children 2 - 10 years old. Sous L’eau is an immersive experience - the children leave Dakar and enter an underwater world, sparking their imagination and curiosity. 



The ideas, inspiration and content of this exhibition have been co-created by the local children of Yoff, the children who attended our Saturday programme and the Easter vacation programming. These children undertook fearless journeys into the depths of their imagination to explore the underwater theme together.

We value the knowledge that children possess and the ways in which they choose to present this. It is very powerful for children to share their learning - knowledge does not have to be a top down process… peer to peer learning is a vital part of Ker ImagiNation’s learning framework, and this exhibition builds and develops critical  ‘soft’ skills in communication and articulation of ideas.


Ker Imagination delivers programming that strengthens school learning while creating an environment of innovation for children, parents and teachers alike. We firmly believe that play-based learning is the best way to develop children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.

The exhibition complements classroom study on water, water density, seas, conservation and explores different jobs (metiers) associated with water.  Additional programming  also introduces children to program partners, including divers, underwater archaeologists and surfers for visiting classes to interview and talk one on one with experts and practitioners.

Other community partners involved with the development of the exhibition include:

 Julie and the Barracuda Diving Center who delivered specialised workshops in diving and have lent equipment that is part of the exhibition. Some of the amazing photos displayed of sea creatures were taken by divers of the Barracuda Diving Center. Their pictures accompany underwater maps developed by the children during programming.

Aicha Kamite and the team of Dr Ibrahima Thiaw of Cheikh Anta Diop's Archaeology Laboratory.  Aicha in particular  shared knowledge of her profession as a marine archeologist and contributed equipment to our exhibition. She will also be presenting at one the special exhibition family night during the month of June that we are curating as part of this exhibition.

 Ibrahima Diene, a local Yoff fisherman and father of one of our children, who wowed us with a fantastic demonstration of different techniques of fishing, including harpooning, and took part in an interview to share knowledge about his profession. He has also contributed a fishing net to this exhibition.

 The local Yoff community who shared their stories and connections of the sea in recorded interviews taken by participants.

 We would like to give a special mention to  Edou Abbott and Rene Lairaise  who have contributed surfing equipment that form part of this exhibition.

 Follow us on Facebook to see more of this exhibition

May 20, 2019

The Results Are In!

Parents validating data/ Yoff, Dakar
Parents validating data/ Yoff, Dakar

The results are in!  ImagiNation Afrika, in partnership with YUX Dakar ( a user experience design tech company) the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the support of donors like you, has been collecting critical data on the lived experience of young children and their caregivers in Dakar. What engages the attention of a three year old in their communities? What is their lived experience as young citizens?

 In addition to focus group interviews with community workers, parents, city officials, nutrition specialists and other key actors, ImagiNation Afrika followed 3 year olds Antou, Amadou and Soukeyna on video across 3 neighborhoods in Dakar as they go about their activities in the company of adult caregivers. And now, the data is in!

Why is this so important? 

Sub-Saharan African cities are experiencing explosive growth and some of the most rapid rates of urbanization in the world. Senegal in particular, on the most Western tip of the continent, has seen its urban population almost double in the last few decades, rising from 23% in 1960 to 43% in 2013, and is projected to reach 60% by 2030.1 Yet, armed with this knowledge, major cities such as Dakar have not studied the impact on young children, and have not developed solutions to ensure that they can thrive and meet their full potential in these rapidly urbanizing spaces. To fully grasp which interventions could have the most impact for young children, we first need to tackle one of the major gaps facing rapidly urbanizing African cities: the lack of data.

The data accumulated is from over 300 participants from three of Dakar’s communes and relates to questions of mobility and public spaces. An additional 50 people participated in interviews on the questions of their perceptions of the quality of these services for them and their children 0-3.  

YUX Dakar led the collection of data using Human Centered Design. YUX and ImagiNation Afrika immersed themselves in Yoff, exchanging with inhabitants from various perspectives.  These results were then presented back to community members for validation and to generate ideas for solutions. 

Perhaps most importantly, we followed and recorded the perceptions of three year old Soukeyna, Antou and Amadou as they experienced both public spaces and public transport.

We’ll be sharing the data across our social media platforms in the month of June and directly here, with our Global Giving donors. But before we do so, here are some sneak peeks at what we have collected, including ImagiNation Afrika founder/Director presenting the project at the Lego Foundation's Re-Imagine Learning.   

YUX Dakar and ImagiNation Afrika leading workshops
YUX Dakar and ImagiNation Afrika leading workshops
Validating data on public spaces in Yoff
Validating data on public spaces in Yoff


Apr 17, 2019

Imagine Dakar: The City by its Child Citizens


ENFANTS CITOYENS" is an exhibition

made by and for children in Dakar. The

exhibition was launched during the 7th edition

of the Partcours Festival.

This multimedia exhibition offered visitors the

opportunity to experience Dakar from the

perspective of its youngest citizens - children.

The exhibition included two interactive spaces;

the first - a mini city where children and adults

were invited to immerse themselves in an

exciting experience of reconstructing their city

and the second - photos and videos taken by

the children as a critical reflection about their


The exhibition is a result of a two month

collaboration with children from Yoff, where

Ker Imagination is based. For two months, 30

children from Yoff benefited from 15

workshops on the topics of multimedia, city

planning and architecture, leading critical

conversations about their city, neighbourhood

and the efficiency of public services. Among

the issues children raised and explored were:

the absence of of public (play) spaces, trash

and waste problems and safety in their

neighbourhood. These issues were then more

thoroughly explored by the children through

photography, video, and interviews with family

members and neighbours. In order to truly

allow the visitors to view the city from a child’s

perspective, the children built 3 periscopes that

adults could use to view the exhibition from

the average height of a child ages 3, 7 and 11.


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