Public Health and Social Justice Courses for Study Abroad Students

Since 2006, ACI has strengthened internal collaboration between its Study Abroad and Health and Social Justice Departments by organizing custom-designed courses for American and Senegalese students at the Baobab Center. The goal of the courses is to share ACI’s experience in Health and Social Justice in general, and especially in Advocacy, Policy Dialogue, and Capacity Building of community organizations in the response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. (For more information on ACI’s Health and Social Justice activities, consult the ACI web site at :

American students discover the experience of Senegal and its AIDS grass-roots activists and organizations, and Senegalese students and activists who participate in the courses get to strengthen their knowledge and skills in the response to HIV and AIDS.

ACI has developed HIV/AIDS-related courses in partnership with Williams College, Beloit College and Boston University. (link to info on those programs) (Read more)

Some examples of Health courses for our students

AIDS in Africa 
A half day presentation by ACI’s Director on the spread of AIDS in Africa, the specifics of the epidemic in Africa and a brief discussion of strategies to end the spread of HIV on the continent.

A New Dynamic Format Pairing Students With NGO Activists To Produce Short Films With Local Organizations In Kaolack
In January 2008, Williams College returned to ACI with two professors (Video specialist Kiaran Honderick from Williams College, and International Consultant on HIV/AIDS and Gender Jill Lewis from Hamsphire College,) and ten students. The 2008 program was unique in its multiple concentrations: cross-cultural learning, gender, HIV/AIDS and film-making. It built upon ACI’s rich experience with its Poles of Excellence program for strengthening community-based organizations in Senegal in their response to HIV and AIDS. ACI Caseworker Abdoulaye Konaté played a key role as facilitator for the program. In line with ACI’s policy of involving Senegalese students in our Study Abroad programs, the Williams program paired US students with NGO activists from four community-based organizations in Kaolack, an Association for the Promotion of Senegalese Women (APROFES), an association of people living with HIV (BOKK LEPP), the Center for Counseling for Adolescents (CCA) and the Group for Reflection and Development of Senegal (GRADES). The American students and local activists attended the gender training together and later shot footage together and created four short films in Wolof with French sub-titles during a retreat at the seaside town of Toubab Dialao. The finished films were then returned to the four host organizations for use in their education and public relations efforts.

HIV/AIDS Advocacy for Beloit 
For two years, ACI has offered a course in French on advocacy and policy dialogue with the participation of civil society representative actually involved in advocacy actitviies. American and Senegalese partpicipants work in teams to understand the pricnciples of advocacy and develop their own mini advocacy campaign on an issue of their choice.

Public Health Course for Boston University
ACI has developed a course on community health in French based on ACI’s Poles of Excellence model for strengthening community-based organizations in the response to HIV/AIDS. This five week course includes readings and theoretic sessions in the form of a seminar, visits to a site in Dakar and field visits in teams of two to four regions to shadow ACI’s caseworkers, a summary report of observations and a final individual presentation of lessons learned, conclusions and recommendations for strengthening the model studied or proposing an alternative community health model.