"Hi everybody! My name is Lara and at the time of my stay with AJE I was a teacher in France. During my first experience with Association Jeunesse espoir (AJE), I'd already worked with the director and one of the teacher in a previous project in Senegal and I knew it would have been even better in their own association.
In summer 2014 (and some before and after), I spent almost two months in Senegal with AJE. I was hosted in a family just a few minutes walk from the center. My host, Madeleine, was very kind with me and we used to share our lunch together and other members of the family came and eat or just chat with us.
I join a picture of tiebudjenn (fish and rice):
I used to go to the center in the morning and in the afternoon to give french classes to children, french or english classes to young girls and also to "grands talibés", young boys grown up in a Daara, called street children.
Teaching in a center of this kind is completely different from everything you can have experienced before: every child has a different level, somebody can write only in arabic alphabet, somebody can speak french but not write, somebody can write and speak easily but want to learn more about history, geography and lots of other subjects. Girls come to improve their level and find in the center a place where to study in peace after all their household chores and close to people who encourage them to learn because it's their right.
They are so curious and interested in what you explain to them that you can easily forget the hot temperatures of senegalese summers!
Senegalese people are open and they are happy to share with you their projects and aspirations. So I could learn and participate to every step of the mission: from the recruitement of the children in the daara after long speeches and negociations with the imam to get the right for the children to attend to our classes.
Once they invite us to speak with the director of a prison to convince them to let us give to the prisoners the opportunity to learn during their stay in prison. We proposed above all vocational training and I think that the meeting with the director and the prisoners had been one of the hardest and intense moment of my experience.
Actually at that moment, I really realized how education is important for AJE who deeply believes that learning can change the path of a human being if he/she wants. I'm so proud of them and I wish they will be able to realise all their projects.
Mandela said "education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" and AJE is definitly working to make this true.
Legui legui AJE!