Diapalante youngsters step up to the teaching challenge.

Last autumn the Diapalante Community Education Centre asked its teenage members to volunteer as young leaders, leading after-school learning activities for primary school children.

Over thirty teenagers stepped forward to run games and activities to help the primary school children master French. The Diapalante “French club” was born. These young leaders  now motivate and guide the young children to overcome this language hurdle. Though shy and inexperienced at first, with training and experience, the young leaders have gained confidence and grown in their ability to steer the younger children towards their learning goals.
French is not a native tongue in Senegal but is the language used to teach in school.  Mastering French is is key to the children’s education. Without this new language the other subjects taught in school are not accessible to them. Diapalante’s “French club” is held on three evenings every week. The young children love the activities, songs and games. Fun but also FRENCH. There are signs that the children are finding school more enjoyable and hopefully this will result in improved attainment at school.

We hope by the end of the school year:

  • to have helped 90 primary school children to improve their French skills so they can understand their school lessons better.
  • to have a group of young leaders who will
    • continue to support Diapalante’s work with the younger children.
    • have gained confidence and leadership skills which will help them to succeed in the world of work and as citizens in a “Sénégal Emergent”.
  • to be ready to repeat the programme at the Centre in coming years.

On behalf of the trustees I would like to encourage and thank  all those involved in this ongoing project, the young leaders and children obviously, but also the adults volunteers whose energy drives the project, who supervise the sessions and train the young leaders and the volunteers who have gathered and created all the learning materials being used. Also those individuals and organisations who help to fund these sessions including  the Farthing Trust and Just Trust who contribute regularly to Diapalante’s ongoing overheads and the British and Foreign Schools Society who have helped to fund this project.

Liz Chandler




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