Celebrated every year on the 5th June, World Environment Day is organised by the United Nations to help raise awareness for the protection of the environment. Every year the campaign has a theme – this year’s theme was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, encouraging people to reduce their use of disposable plastics.
Here at Diapalante, we wanted to educate our members about the environment, and why it’s important to look after it! Two of our younger members (Abdou, age 14, and Fallou, age 14) lead a discussion about the environment, covering everything from what exactly the environment is, to why it is our responsibility to protect it. This involved members of all ages, and everyone had the chance to contribute and learn something new!
Some of the members with posters showing what they learned after their discussion!
We incorporated the day into our other lessons, specifically IT. For some of the younger kids, we had a typing race, where they had to retype out a text about World Environment Day. The first person to finish with less than five errors won, and safe to say the atmosphere got very competitive!
“No to plastic rubbish – Protect our environment”
Here at Diapalante, we try to teach across all the subjects, often covering different ones at the same time. As part of our theme of citizenship, some of the members had the opportunity to improve both their English and their IT skills by responding to the question, ‘Why was the Diapalante Centre created?’. Here is the response from Fallou Diop, aged 15;
Diapalante is a national educational centre where there are lots of students. At the same time, it allows us to do lots of things like: maths lessons, English lessons and French lessons.
- I come nearly every day to Diapalante sometimes when I have difficult work, I come here to search the answers, I am not the only person who does this.
- The reason why Diapalante was created is: Diapalante is an educational association which is in England. Diapalante was created to help the children with their educational system and also with their behaviour.
- We must all like Diapalante because it is it which helps us to do all our work at school. Me personally I like Diapalante because it’s thanks to it that I have improved well.
- For me, we must always help Tata Corran and Tonton P because it’s thanks to them that we have improved well.
- In my future, I would like to help Diapalante to be more famous and more educational.
Here in Senegal, we are in the middle of the month-long celebration of Ramadan. This means that for the next month, all Muslims who are physically able will be neither eating nor drinking between 5am and 7pm. This includes Master P and a large majority of the members at Diapalante, and I have been fasting along with them most days! For me, it has been both an amazing opportunity to better understand Islam and a great way to feel close to the community. However, not eating or drinking at all during the day obviously has several consequences for the centre!
First of all, we have changed our opening hours. Like before, we still open at 11am. However, as nobody will be cooking/eating lunch, we no longer close for lunch time. Instead, we have an hour’s rest at 2pm, when no lessons are taught, but the centre is still open. We also close a lot earlier, at roughly 5pm, to let people get home in time to break the fast at 7! As well as practical reasons, the reduction in hours has another advantage; during Ramadan, everyone is (quite rightly) a lot more tired than before. Fasting all day can increase fatigue and decrease concentration in both pupils and teachers, and lots of our older students are also doing exams at school! This means that the members, although still keen to learn, are often very exhausted. To distract them from their hunger, we often play some simple and fun games, like Ludo and maths colouring in during the quieter periods!
Some members enjoying football-themed Ludo during a break!
Maths colouring-in themed around the upcoming Football World Cup.