French delegation: Philippe Boucaud, Mr & Mrs Bertrand and Christine Favreul, Maryline Malbrunot, Yvette Mermelstein, Patricia Mowbray and Marc Perpitch.
Senegalese members: Ibrahima Khouma (builder), Lassana Keita (teacher, head of the primary school in Koar) and Assan Faye (ex-teacher, member of the education administration)
Sunday, November the 15th
Passy Visit of the medical center. Meeting with the nurses and midwives. Some repairs are to consider: the labor room roof, cleaning of the back of the building… We visit 2 new born children from last night. The rooms are clean. 5 women are hospitalized during our visit. A waiting room has been built for the maternity. Passy maternity welcome more than 700 deliveries per year. The staff asks for medical materials such as thermometer, delivery kits… and a new ultrasound scanner because the old one doesn’t work properly.
Diagane Barka Short visit of the premises of the nursery school. Meeting with the head mistress in the shcool, Fatou Mdao. Inscriptions for the new year are on. Distribution of light material.
Total number of pupils at the moment :
Small Section = 17 pupils Mid Section = 15 pupils Big Section = 10 pupils Temporary Total = 42 pupils
Monday, November the 16th
Ndoss Visit of the Maternity along with Mr Badione, the male nurse. This maternity was rehabilitated by Racines d’Enfance in 2015. It’s well kept and welcome about 372 deliveries per year, which comes to an average of 30 deliveries per month. We meet again the nursery school team with pleasure : Khady Faye, headmistress and the two teachers, Fatou Diouf and Khassime Faye. Reopening the school this year made no problem. The courses began 2 weeks ago. Meeting with the teachers of the state elementary school who inform us of the positive impact they notice among the children who followed our teaching in the nursery school, for example : best socialization, sense of discipline, french speaking (some of them master it)… Very often, the children stay 2 or 3 months in Initiation Course and for some of them, depending on the teacher’s judgement, they jump to the Primary Course and therefore find themselves ahead. Distribution of educational material and lunch in one of the classroom with the teachers and some representatives of the primary school of the village.
Number of pupils:
Small Section = 32 pupils (16 girls / 16 boys) Mid Section = 35 pupils (16 girls / 19 boys) Big Section = 43 pupils (27 girls / 16 boys) Total = 110 pupils
School fee per month : 500 CFA (around 80 US cents) Inscription fee per year : 250 CFA (around 40 US cents)
Sanghaie We are visiting this village which has been asking for a nursery school for the last 2 years. Meeting with the village community, the Chief Representative M. Cheikh Ousmane Diouf (bi-national franco-senegalese elder man who retired in his native village), the head master of the school M. Aliou Diouf, the Women’s Union Representatives Mrs Yanda Faye et Aissatou Diouf. Sanghaie is located in the Siné Saloum region and is surrounded by 2690 inhabitants. There are 484 pupils in 12 classrooms in Elementary School, including 82 children in Introduction Course (first grade) and 249 in Middle school. The very young children form 2 to 6 years old are taught arabic in an old warehouse which is due to be destroyed and will be replaced by our nursery school. We are being shown a piece of land where we could build. It’s well located, next to the Elementary Etate School with an easy water communication and a close electricity line. The whole village and the teachers are hightly motivated to welcome a nursery school. Our next mission will have to make sure that the Academy of the city of Fatick (region capital city) do nominate 1 or 2 teachers in our school. They are essential.
Tuesday, November the 17th
Koumbal Inauguration day, witnessed by Mrs Mariama Sarr, the Family and Childhood Minister, along with the Government Representative of the State Program concerning very young kids in towns, also Mrs Dioma Sow, the Senior Local Government Official Assistant, and M. Salif Ndiaye, Senior Member of an Official Road Building Company called Ageroute. He is a village native and an influential active partner with us in this project. The whole village community is united and has gathered around for this occasion. Of course with us are also the head mistress of the nursery school from Diagane Barka, Fatou Mdao, and her team which we invited. Last but not least, the french delegation of Racines d’Enfance (Philippe Boucaud, Mr & Mrs Bertrand and Christine Favreul, Marylin Malbruno, Yvette Mermelstein, Patricia Mowbray and Marc Perpitch). The school opens with 128 pupils, including already 50 in the Small Section.
Wednesday, November the 18th These last weeks, the Tambacounda region was hitten by serious flood due to late and heavy rains, so the school opening was delayed. Therefore the total number of pupils may increase in the coming weeks. The Academy inspector in charge of the pre-schools gave us all the exercise books to be distributed in the schools we are taking care of.
Wassadou Big meeting with the managing comity to evaluate one year of activity, with M. Dialo (teacher & head of the Elementary School), the 3 assistants paid by the families fees (who got trained last April in Tambacounda) and the managing comity. In spite of the lack of water, plantations were made on the ground and are well kept. By lack of oil, the local communal water drilling doesn’t work properly, so keeping the school and especially the toilets is difficult. Therefore, on the spot, Racines d’Enfance and the managing comity decided to dig a well which will give the school it’s autonomy. Estimate cost : around 500€ (quote in waiting). It will distribute water to the 2 schools (nursery and elementary school). Part of the fence and the kitchen roof were damaged by falling trees, due to heavy storms. They will be fixed in the coming weeks. The canteen will now take place with the elementary school. Access to water will also make it possible to create a vegetable garden to feed the elementary and nursery school canteen. We asked the Academy to provide a second course of formation for the 3 assistants. It should take in the early part of 2016. School material was distributed as well as cleaning stuff. We asked the village carpenter to make 3 desks for the teachers. We are happy to notice that the village gets invested in the school. Mr. Dialo, head of the elementary school is of great help in the setting of the school.
Number of pupils : Small Section = 34 pupils ( 20 girls / 14 boys ) Mid Section = 24 pupils ( 16 girls / 8 boys ) Big Section = 22 pupils ( 14 girls / 8 boys )
Thursday, November the 19th
Koar Record of attendance at the managing comity meeting : almost 40 people. Among them Lassana Keita, headmaster of the school, Adama Doumboya, new head og the managing comity (native of the village), Ousman Souaré, chief of the village, Sidi Sambou, former head of the managing comity, Yaya Dialo, coordinator (and ex-pupil), Diouma Sène, treasurer, and Abdoul Camara, head of the elementary school managing comity… The total number of pupils, 27, shows that the school has some problems, despite the latest bad weather. One of the classroom is no longer occupied because bats settled in during the last wintering. The managing comity has been replaced not without any disagreements. Everyone explains in details why they have been leaving or arriving in the comity. One can understand that leaving the comity after 8 years can be really hard but it’s also reasonable. Families have trouble to pay the fees because of bad harvest, so the comity offers to reduce the fees. We remind the village authorities that we’ve built this school because they asked for it 10 years ago and that they are responsible for the managing and keeping of the buildings. If the situation does not get better for our next visit, they will have to find new partnerships to help them. We end the meeting with a sentence from the new head of the managing comity : « If someone helps you wash your back, help yourself to wash your front. ».
Total number of pupils : 27
Saal Meeting with Mr. Ndom, head of the Elementary School, Jérôme Thiow, head of managing comity, Yacinthe Senghor, elementary school teacher, Lassan Keita, head master of Koar nursery school, Elisabeth Youn and Cecile Faye, assistants, and Jean Diouf, private school teacher.
The nursery school in Saal is 11 years old now and needs some restoration works : the toilets building and the biggest classroom for instance. We are waiting for the quotation and the works should start next semester. The pupils will go in the other classroom and in the Women hut, which is inside the school. Despite the lack of runing water, the school is well kept and the village put some games in the schoolyard. We eat a delicious Yassa chicken made by the managing comity. Distribution of material in the elementary, nursery and private school.
Total number of pupils : 40
Sinthian We visited Dr Ba and the head mistress of the nursery school at the end of the day. The headcount is stable.
Tuesday, November the 24th
Keur Assan Ndiaye In the suburbs of Thiès, this village, with 2000 inhabitants, is expending quite a lot. There are 250 pupils in 6 classrooms in the Elementary School. There are a medical center, a maternity hospital and a cooperative in the village. Some works are done on the elementary school ground where they offer us a space to build the nursery school that could welcome around 150 pupils. Meeting with Mr. Diop, Awa Ball and Mariame Sarr, town councillors, Mr. Kadhifa Ndiaye, chief of the village, Fatou Mdao, head of the Initiation Courses and Khady Sy, head of the 1st grade. The Initiation Courses and 1st grade teachers are really engaged and want to be a part of the future managing comity. The space is within the school facilities and is already almost completly enclosed. There will be access to water and the Academy promised to give at least one state teacher. We think this situation is suitable to build our 8th school. We give a copy of Racines d’Enfance rules®ulations and contract to the town authorities so that they can discuss it. We plan to see them next spring.
Appointment with The Minister Mariama Sarr and the head of her cabinet Mr. Diouf Niokhobaye. We decide to write an official protocol of agreement and partnership between the Ministry and Racines d’Enfance.