A new school in a village in Senegal is taking shape thanks to volunteers from Dubai Cares who happily mixed concrete, laid bricks, and contributed to the construction of the new building.
The children welcomed the promise of a new school in the Tasset Peulh village in Senegal that upon completion will help 60 schoolchildren, 60 illiterate adults and 300 villagers.
Earlier this week, 13 UAE-based volunteers, representing nine nationalities, travelled to Senegal to set the foundation for the educational centrepiece of the community by donating their time and energy for a great cause.
Part of Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally initiative, the volunteers took on construction work by assisting in tasks that included digging, lifting, pumping water, mixing concrete, reinforcing steel bars, and making and laying bricks for the school.
An estimated 38 per cent of Senegal’s Out-Of-School-Children (OOSC) are between the ages of 7 and 14 years. The-out-of-school children rates for children from rural areas at 49 per cent are higher than those for children in urban areas at 21 per cent, reiterating the urgency and importance of the school premises for the Tasset Peulh village in Thies region in western Senegal.
The initiative underpins the organisations’ mandate to eradicate poverty through education in developing countries. This community engagement initiative, which was launched in 2009, has attracted overwhelming interest from members of the UAE community, who are committed to devoting their time and energy towards improving the lives of underprivileged children and young people.
“Each year, we are amazed by the response from the people in the UAE towards our Volunteer Globally initiative. We are incredibly proud of the spirit of volunteerism that runs deep within our community, its people and residents,” Abdullah Ahmad Al Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Cares.
“It is extremely rewarding to join the volunteers each year, as we take on the responsibility of helping realise the vision of Dubai Cares. Volunteer Globally allows community members from the UAE to experience first-hand the Dubai Cares’ work and the organisation’s programmes in developing countries and to also make a lifelong positive impact on the lives of others,” he added.
Jennifer Hardie, a Canadian volunteer who joined Dubai Cares’ delegation in Senegal, described her experience as humbling and unforgettable.
“The experience of working hand-in-hand with a local community in Senegal is a memory I will always cherish, especially after I have seen how important this school is to them,” she said.
Yousuf Al Abbasy from Egypt, said: “Dubai Cares’ Volunteer Globally is an excellent platform for UAE-based individuals to engage in volunteering activities. I feel truly privileged to have been selected for this year’s edition and to have been given an opportunity to dedicate a tiny part of my life towards bringing real value into the lives of this Senegalese community, and to work together with a diverse team from the UAE.”
As part of the proragmme, the volunteers also participated in cultural education workshops to help them interact directly with the local families and assimilate themselves within the local community for a complete enriching experience.
This is the second trip to Senegal in two years. The first was a weeklong mission in 2016 where volunteers constructed a primary school in the village of Keur Moussa Hann that is currently benefiting 150 children.