In appreciation of whiteboards

Hi this is Pippa and I would like to take a moment to thank those who bought the Diapalante advent calendar, especially in regards to the whiteboard pens. Whiteboards (and their pens) are one of the most handy and useful resources we are lucky enough to have at the centre. The large ones that can be put at the front of a lesson and allow ideas to be explored so that all the pupils can see and add to them, they also allow us to work in teams – sharing ideas and thought-processes clearly. The small whiteboards allow students to work without fear of making a mistake. Members can be very worried about writing things down wrong and whiteboards allow them the freedom to think creatively and thoroughly through their ideas without this becoming a problem. Whiteboard pens also mean that one (laminated) sheet can be used again and again allowing lots of members to benefit from the same resource and allowing it to be reusable. In summary, whiteboards and their pens are great.

Sheets

Thanks to those who bought the Diapalante Advent Calendar the members of Diapalante enjoyed working from some brand-new exercise sheets to help them practice their French language skills (the language used in schools). Given that most children grow up speaking Wolof and then are taught entirely in French at school these French sessions are invaluable in not only allowing the members who are at school to improve their French, but also allowing them to gain the language skils needed to engage in all their other school subjects.

Maths at Diapalante

The younger members have really enjoyed a series of maths lessons on shapes and symmetry thanks to generosity of people who sponsored it in the Christmas booklet. The older members have also enjoyed a series of maths workshops on algebra, geometry and other varied topics, lead by a university maths student.

 

Playdoh

The members of the centre were treated to a playdoh-filled fun day thanks to those who bought the Diapalante christmas advent calendar. The morning was spent making the playdoh and learning about different types of measurements. In the afternoon everybody – young and older members alike – enjoyed creating a variety of creations – some very accomplished. The session ended with an introduction to electrical conductors and circuits – allowing members to make their work light up.

Fun and Team Games

Thanks to the generous support of those who bought the Diapalante advent calendar, almost 100 of the members of Diapalante enjoyed an exciting evening of team games and races which was well appreciated by all! The activities lasted over three hours, sending everyone home thoroughly tired out from the running, dodging, and chanting! There will be more of these evenings to come and they are highly anticipated by members of all ages!

Note from Miriam

Hi there, this is Miriam and I’m one of the British volunteers at the Diapalante centre. Unfortunately, after recieving my offers for university in September I have to return to England in March to complete resits. I am deeply saddened to be leaving so soon but my time here in Senegal has been truly amazing and the centre has been even better than I could have imagined.

The centre has been exciting, challenging and the wide range of things we do here will not be something I will forget. From teaching pre-school children the alphabet and number to talks about internet safety with teenage members and complex discussions in English with advanced members about the education system, gender roles and future development opportunities in Senegal. The members also love the opportunity to get involved in sports and competition such as a recent football and bucketball tournament and mini sports day. Ultimately the work I have done here has also been incredibly rewarding seeing the difference we are able to make even in a short time. Whilst teaching I have learnt so much, the community has been so welcoming and the members are just incredible, helpful and eager to learn in every moment.

Diapalante has become my family and I will undoubtedly return to the centre and family here in the not too distant future. This is not the end of my relationhip with Diapalante but just the beginning as its work here is helping the students here more than you can imagine and the people I have met here have really changed my ideas and my outlook on life. I want to take this as an opportunity to thank everyone who contributes to Diapalante, Liz, Master P and my volunteer partner, Pippa.

Visitors and asking questions

It has been a very busy few weeks at the Diapalante centre, first welcoming a family from England and now we are lucky to be hosting the chair of Diapalante’s trustees – Liz Chandler. This has been a fabulous opportunity for the members to practice asking and phrasing questions and learning about different people.