Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom

by Lets Be Ready
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom

This month, Vieux our supervisor (for his love of football) had a really nice initiative by organizing a Juggling competition.

Since kids are passionate soccer fans and know above all, football stars such as Lionel Messi, Sadio Mané, Ronaldo, Mbapé, Vieux and Cheikh, found that would be very funny to organize that tournament.

That was a real moment for children to express joy and solidarity between themselves.

We know that Education is much more important, but there are some talented kids who will need to be identified and express their abilities. For our part, we will have to encourage developing that talent.

Before starting the competition, Vieux met Khali Diaw the coach of Medina Marmiyale (local football club in Darou). Vieux’s idea was very welcomed by him and every Saturday and Sunday, he came to train kids to try with balls.

In Africa, football is one of the most popular sports, for example, in all the neighborhoods, young people used to gather together, close to houses, in any kind of space which can serve as a yard, in order to play soccer.  And during the World Cup, everyone is busy, watching TV or listening to the radio if they don’t have TV;

After three weeks 3 weeks of training, we chose 12 young very talented and we bought jerseys and candies in order to offer them to winners and supporters altogether.

Six groups of 2 had to start the competition. Each participant had 30 seconds to show the best of him and the winner of each little group was qualified to the next step.

Then we had three groups of two. The competition was very tight at that stage but we finally had our three finalists. One of them was automatically eliminated by the public but nevertheless he benefited of a soccer jersey (Which was really cool : )

And then we came to our two heroes Adama and Bachir.

Vieux did a very special introduction of our two winners before the results. Supporters were shouting and clapping their hands saying like: Allez! Go! LOOOOOL

Well the tournament was over, Adama won the competition and as there were remaining two beautiful jerseys, he chose another one as a gift for his little brother.

The losers were encouraged and they enjoyed their candies.

The coach Khali congratulated all the team members for that initiative and children for their efforts;

Also he found several kids with real potential to develop in the future.

It was a great moment.  

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At 9 o’clock, our enthusiastic kids came in great numbers to the Center; first of all, they were playing foosball, while volunteers were arranging the classrooms. For that morning, our volunteers would like to increase awareness amongst children, regarding their own identity, their personality and choices in their life. That activity was divided into several categories. And there were lessons to be learned in each question.

After talking about the date, the weather and the program, the team started with personal questions involving their name, the age, their address and where they come from. Normally, each kid was supposed to answer in his own words and in full sentences. It’s a way to know where they are from, and also learn from other, local areas’ names, ethnical groups and so on.

It happened that, some of them didn’t really know where they come from and in those cases; we proposed to see the marabouts to have the right answers.

After introducing themselves and telling their address and origin, we asked them about their favorite sport and animal. It was a common way to keep them concentrated and they always found funny to talk about sports or animals.

After that distraction, it was time to begin a meaningful conversation with them, concerning Children’s Rights in Africa…..

We talked about certain rights and we promised to have each week a session to discuss about their rights.

Nevertheless, it was heartbreaking to explain to those underprivileged children, what was a child? What were his rights? Considering that, almost none of the basic rights has been respected in a daily life. The only explanation we had in order to reassure them was that, the private associations and other local organizations were putting pressure on the government to establish mechanisms for promoting the rights of a child.

We also asked them to stay at the centre to get educated and in the future, they could, in their turn, take positive actions to promote Human Rights in the Continent.

The volunteers thought that was important to let children express themselves, because, it will help them to dare to speak openly, to communicate, to be recognized by other and to make friends in the group. And another important thing was the fact that, some kids would find that way to fight against shyness and have the possibility to become familiar with the two foreign languages (French and English).

To finish our wonderful class, the last question was about where they would like to travel around the word? And we got surprising answers from children.

We noticed that, they could be illiterate but they are well informed regarding countries ‘names.

What was their secret?......Soccer game on TV, we were so impressed to see that, thanks to soccer games, kids learnt a lot regarding geography. They quoted lots of countries; they wanted to visit, expecting to meet Ronaldo or Lionel Messi…..LOL.

And for that last lesson, our role was to show them in a map the Country’s location. By the way, we took our time to talk about travelling and what they will need to travel. We taught them the role of a passport and we showed them how to make one through a simple drawing…..

Our talibés are so smart, we are proud of them.

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We had our second clean-up day at Chance for all Senegal!

The first one was our centre cleaning and this time it was the turn of the Daaras.

We used to visit one specific Daara and we know that all the talibés from there, used to visit our centre to get treated or to learn French. Furthermore, that Daara is located in a very poor place and is in very bad conditions.That’s why we chose to organize that clean-up day, to get it cleaner for our little kids.

The objective was to clean and renovate the whole Daara so that Talibés who are coming to our center will feel more comfortable in their house!

It’s an easy way to learn a lot about hygiene, cleanliness…

The Marabout at the Daara, an old man in his fifties, is from the uncommon Marabouts that really take care of the Talibés despite being not rich!

 You only need to meet him and have a look around the place to see clearly that he is not from those that make profits with Talibés children!

All this made us think of him when we decided to organise that activity!

Local staff and children were at the Rendez-vous.

 

We had a bunch of white sand to cover the courtyard after having well swept the floor, bricks to cover the well  that is used to give water to pigeons, cement and straw to make a barrier between the pigeons and the Talibés and the painting to finish!

Some people brought the sand inside the Daara, some remove the bad sand around the toilet, because it might encourage the presence of mosquitoes and thus a big risk of malaria, mostly for the very little Talibés.

 

In the end all the sand has been brought inside and covered the whole Daara.

The well was surrounded with bricks in order to avoid the sand or dirt to get in contact with the water, the toilet was well cleaned and renovated, the straw wall was done and the whole place has been painted.

The fact that children and everyone had fun while doing a wonderful and very worthwhile thing; that means a lot I think!

The marabouts and his talibés promised to keep the Daara always clean.

After our activities, we went back to the centre to play drums with Amadou and all the kids.

 

Well done guys and thanks so much! :)

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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

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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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Lets Be Ready

Location: Longmont, CO - USA
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Project Leader:
Fred Zambroski
Longmont, CO United States
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