The diapalante members have been doing a series of sewing workshops led by Lizzi (returned volunteer 2015/16). This has involved learning to use the machines and sew in straight(ish!) lines, cutting, preparing templates and designs to make some lovely, Senegal-coloured bunting.
The younger members of Diapalante very much enjoyed an afternoon preparing and planting seeds – mint, papaya and nebedaye for the Diapalante courtyard. Many thanks to the people who bought the Christmas calendar and supported it.
Diapalante was proud to host parents and family members for an afternoon tea last week. The celebration was a chance for the members to receive certificates for the hard work they have put in this year – whether that be in Coding, Electronics, Reading, Computer skills, English or just for having general worked hard and been helpful! The members were proud to show their families around the centre and explain what they do here! There was also some beautiful prayers read for the victims of the terrorist attacks in England.
The festivities began on Friday with a carnival, themed ‘Return to Traditional Values’. The members of Diapalante took to the streets in a long procession of horses and carts, motorbikes, a truck playing the Diapalante theme-tune/advert and the rest on foot. Everyone was dressed in their best traditional clothes and holding signs made by the members decorated with quotes and sayings -‘It’s never too late to learn’, ‘Practice makes perfect’ etc etc.
The next morning the Official ceremony was held. Diapalante was proud to showcase some amazing drama, dancing and singing demonstrating a wide variety of what they are able to learn and benefit from at the centre. This was alongside speeches from the Schools Inspector, a representative of the parents and of the members.
Later the members and everyone else who wanted to join were treated to an afternoon of fun fitness. Despite the heat everyone was in high spirits and full of energy! This was followed by a karate demonstration and karate-comedy-drama about prayer and determination.
In the evening, as it was a celebration, the area was treated to a party! This included singing from local celebrity – Zahra Mbaye and drum playing. A great time was had by all and the dancing was full of energy and joy.
The next day Diapalante held a conference on ‘Children, youth and cybercriminality’. A wide range of speakers including the police, local religious leaders and civil servants ensured a lively debate with a huge variety of ideas and opinions. The event was informative and enjoyed by everyone, from the youngest member, to the elders who came to participate.
Last week the Diapalanté centre were pleased to welcome an artist from Dakar to lead workshops in creating art from rubbish. The members used a variety of resources that could be found – Coconut shells, teapots, old keyboards, newspaper, drinks cans, empty bottles- anything that they had – to create a flock of birds that are now on display around the centre.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to newly arrived resources the members of Diapalante have enjoyed using both Duplo and Lego in the centre. They have been practicing building sturdy structures and have also really enjoyed the opportunity to use their imaginations and create whatever they can think of.