Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal

by Women's Global Education Project
Nov 21, 2011

WGEP Senegal Scholar wins local poetry contest

Congratulations, Mariama!
Congratulations, Mariama!

Congratulations to WGEP Senegal Scholar Mariama Diagne Diop, Winner of the Kergui Association Poetry Writing Contest!

Elsewhere, in the unknown
by Mariama Diagne Diop
translated from French (below)

Why do they go away to unknown horizons?
Why do they go away to hostile horizons?
Why do they go elsewhere?
To this elsewhere which gives them nothing without suffering
Yes, why!
You the immigrant, you the accursed of the earth
You send yourselves far from your homes, to Europe, to America
Oh yes, I understood you went away
Because your earth is stripped bare
Because fertility has deserted your soil
Because sun and fire have burned down your forests
Because your malnourished animals give nothing more than a small pittance
Because the greatly reduced food can no longer provide a subsistence
Because sometimes war, hideous war, has destroyed your homes
So, you launch yourselves into the music of the unknown
So, you disappear into the terrible belly of the Atlantic
Yes, I understand you, this is the wretched misery that withers you
And me, I pray that the skies of heaven would open themselves
For the abundant waters to bathe and revive the earth
That beautiful harvests will grow in your field.
That there will at last be a return of abundance and laughter will blossom in your homes,
    henceforth, happiness.

Mariama is part of WGEP’s Sisters-to-School program that currently helps 270 girls in rural Senegal attend and succeed in school. To read more about WGEP Senegal, please visit us at

In the original French
Mariama Diagne Diop

Pourquoi s’en vont-ils vers des horizons inconnus?
Pourquoi s’en vont-ils vers des horizons hostiles?
Pourquoi s’en vont-ils  ailleurs?
Vers cet ailleurs qui ne leur donne rien sans souffrances
Oui, pourquoi!
Vous les émigrants, vous les damnés de la terre
Vous vous envolez loin de chez vous, vers l’Europe, vers l’Amérique
Oh oui, j’ai  compris vous partez
Parce que vos terres sont dénudées
Parce que la fertilité a déserté vos sols
Parce que le soleil et les feux ont brûlé vos forêts
Parce que vos animaux mal nourris ne donnent plus qu’une faible pitance
Parce que la nourriture bien réduite ne suffit plus à la subsistance
Parce que des fois la guerre, la guerre hideuse a détruit  vos demeures
Alors, vous vous jetez dans l’inconnu des airs
Alors, vous vous enfoncez dans le terrible « ventre de l’Atlantique »
Oui, je vous comprends c’est la misère sèche qui vous sèche
Et moi, je prie pour que les gargouilles du ciel s’ouvrent
Pour que l’eau abondante baigne et ravive la terre
Pour que de belles récoltent croissent à vos champ
Pour que enfin l’abondance revienne et fleurisse de rires vos foyers  désormais heureux.



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Women's Global Education Project

Location: Oak Park, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Amy Maglio
Oak Park, Illinois United States
$201,974 raised of $215,000 goal
1,166 donations
$13,026 to go
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