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May 14, 2018

Our living environment

The centre is always full of kids and every day, local volunteers (Vieux, Rio, Yandé and Messi) are looking for new activities, helpful for their Education, knowledge and behavior.

Most of the time, after normal class, they organized awareness-raising activity, highlighting the advantages of studying, the Children’s rights around the world and so on. For the month of May, we decided to let them explore Saint-Louis town, because the majority of them never visited down town.

In fact, coming from remote villages (Senegal, the Gambia or Guinea), those children, never left Darou their neighborhood, where they settled under the Marabout’s supervision.

Some of them were lucky to visit town to earn more money, but others stayed closed to Darou.That’s why, we thought that was judicious to show them Senegal’s cultural diversity, as well as its history, geography and social aspects. So having a tour of the city was a best way to learn a lot and our proposal of the visit was to talk about everything we meet in our way.

For this purpose, we hired a local bus called ‘car rapid’. The first lesson was to talk about that kind of bus and which role it played during the colonialism in Senegal. We explained the different prices of transport in town, depending on the money you have.

 Beginning with the History was useful because that allowed kids to understand more concerning their City. They needed to have knowledge referring to Saint-Louis region and the Colonialism. For example, how the town was developed by French colonies?Why do we have tourists?

 So children of Darou and local volunteers were also Senegalese tourists, criss-crossing the streets, between Corniche, the administrative buildings, the Bridge, the North and South Islands.

First of all, discovering the ‘Faidherbe Bridge’ was an important point, children were very curious to cross it and the local bus was waiting for us in the island. It was also so funny, because some of them were afraid to walk across the bridge. We needed to be patient and convince them to get off the bus.

Secondly, it was important to explain Saint-Louis location (Northwest of Senegal), what was a continent, an island, an ocean and a river, with the aim of distinguishing and recognizing all of them. We visited the ‘Bou el Mogdad Boat’, the African soldiers Monument, and traditional boats around.

At the end of our visit, we took them to the local amusement park to play in the jumping castle.

Children were very happy to visit their city and we hope that will enhance their knowledge. They asked us to take them back as soon as possible….it was so cute…lol

Apr 19, 2018

SUCCESS IN PROGRAM TO COMBAT MALNUTRITION!

Magical Classroom and Let’s Be Ready are programs that operate almost exclusively in rural communities in remote places, where food security and a lack of socioeconomic mobility are very real issues.

We have finished our first year with Magical Classroom and Let’s Be Ready where we served a total of 765 children that received Chispuditos, a fortified micronutrient beverage offered as a healthy snack while attending the rural preschool sessions in more than 35 communities. Currently we are in the process of analyzing the anthropometry and morbidity data, however we are happy to share that we completed the hemoglobin and anemia analysis, and found a dramatic decrease in the proportion of children with anemia (prevalence of anemia) in the children after receiving Chispuditos during the school year.

 74.1% decrease in the prevalence of anemia on our first year!

Furthermore, the academic success rate of Let’s be Ready kindergarten students passing first grade is over 90%, with over 70% successfully completing primary school. We will continue to provide Chispuditos during 2018, and are expecting to reach more than 600 beneficiaries.

Apr 5, 2018

Learning in a funny way

This month, our kids did something very unique. From Nancy Carpenter’s idea, the members of the Association Chance for all Senegal decided to use a very different way to teach children.

In fact, they organized a kind of excursion to the market to show children another sight of the markets and food sellers. Street children used to get to the market in order to carry ladies’ heavy shopping buckets and get paid. Actually, they never care about what is exactly the market’s role. This time, they went to the market as normal customers, paying for their vegetables, fish and fruits.

It was a very funny experience for them and they learned a lot. The first thing they appreciated was how venders were nice with them. Indeed, many were reducing prices, showing them how to make profit and giving advices in order to stop begging. Also, for vendors, it was the first time to see street children buying, negotiating, instead of begging. Vendors congratulated the local volunteers for this new approach and even didn’t want to get paid for vegetables. At the end, lots of vegetables were offered. For the first time in their life, boys were not seen like marginalized children, but like normal kids. Humanly speaking, it was so memorable for kids, because we noticed how it could strengthen their personality.

They met some peers (street children carrying heavy things) and those kids wanted to visit the centre and participate to that kind of activities.

Furthermore, visiting the market was not only to have fun, it was also a new way to have new vocabulary, learn maths, colours, shapes, currencies and weights.

For this purpose, once back at the Centre, kids were in charge of playing different roles. Split into two separate groups (one representing sellers and other for shoppers). Nevertheless, it was necessary for Old (the centre coordinator) and the other volunteers to remind them the vegetables names, the colours and shapes in French, before starting the new market at Darou. During that acitivity, we realized that children didn’t really know about banknote but were real experts in collecting coins…..What a funny experience….LOL.

 Right after, it was time for shopping, and practicing the words and imitating a real market. They seemed so enthusiastic and played the role with skill.

To be sure to assimilate everything, volunteers were asking questions about a vegetable (for example the carrot’s colour, shape and so on). Before finishing, we had discussion about the relationship between food and health, explaining how fruits and vegetables, meat and fish are good for our body. On the top of that, we gave the food to a lady living in the neighborhood to cook rice and fish (‘Chébou Jeene’, the Senegalese national meal) for kids. Everyone enjoyed that day to the market!!!

 
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