The Baobab Center has prepared a list of short term volunteer opportunities in and around Dakar and draws on its extensive network of contacts to develop longer community based internship programs across the country.
Some examples of Service Learning activities
The Baobab Center has developed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Senegal. Students can be placed in low cost housing projects in the periphery of Dakar for short and longer term construction and community development activities. Other service learning opprtunities in and around Dakar have included working in a nursery for orphans or teaching primary school classes in Dakar’s SOS village, local organizations working with young women, and refugee relief services.
In the first program for Saint Lawrence University in January 2008, around the town of Sangalkam outside of Rufisque, the Experience Senegal Program©Director Al Hassane Diahaté developed partnerships with several local Senegalese organizations in his community. The program in Sangalkam provides students with enriching internship experiences including work in the local hospital, the local primary and preschools, traditional healing center and the Turtle Village/SOS Environment, an NGO specializing in environmental issues related to global warming.
Later in May-June, 2008, Mercer University students spent two weeks with rural host families in the town of Ross Bethio outside of St. Louis. They worked with four local organizations, helping in the fields, organizing their libraries, teaching English and developing websites and brochures with the associaitons for better public relations.
These service-minded programs help the Baobab Center to meet its goal of encouraging global citizenship and helping western citizens to build collaborative relationships with people in the developing world. Other service learning programs are currently in the design stages.