In the arid Fatick region of rural Senegal, the village of Soupa Serere lies six kilometers from the nearest national road. The distance and isolation are often obstacles for the community to access supplies, especially during COVID-19. Nearly five months ago, at the request of the village and the Acronis Cyber Foundation (ACF), the CREATE! staff visited Soupa Serere to distribute staple food supplies and a handwashing station at the community school to combat the effects of COVID-19.
CREATE! maintained connection with the village and recently returned with ACF to support the school’s effort to develop a computer lab for their 140 students. The school is full of bright and ambitious young men and women from Soupa Serere as well as the surrounding communities. Some students even walk up to seven miles to get to school. Amijuf is one of these students who walks every day from the community of Toukar. She explains that her favorite subject is science and that she wants to study to become a doctor when she gets older. The commitment and enthusiasm from students like Amijuf inspire us to continue working side by side with communities to develop a more self-sufficient and sustainable future in rural Senegal.
Unfortunately, in rural Senegal, the education system faces many different challenges, one of them being the lack of resources. To combat this hardship, ACF and CREATE! distributed 25 tablets, a laptop, and a printer to the school in Soupa Serere at the request of the teachers. But what good would these new devices be without electricity?
Solar Energy Solutions
One of CREATE!’s four main sectors is renewable energy solutions, with over 10 years of experience installing solar panels to access clean water in communities throughout rural Senegal. To provide reliable electricity to the school, CREATE!’s highly trained technicians installed solar panels on the roof. Having electricity not only means that students can use technology in the classrooms but now they can study in the evenings too. Even though CREATE!’s work is not officially in the education sector, it gives us immense joy to see the smiles on the students’ faces who now have the technology to excel in their classes.
In Senegal there is a Wolof proverb that says, xamxam dafay weey, xaalis dày jeex. This translates to: knowledge remains, money gets used up. In other words, you can’t take away knowledge. The gift of knowledge lasts a lifetime and we believe that it is foundational for sustainable change.