under the baobab tree

coffee breaks & exposures to africa, mostly

Archive for campaign

idrissa guiro: barcelone ou la mort

Barça ou Barzakh (Barcelone ou la mort, Barcelona or Death) is Idrissa Guiro’s first film and an eye-opener that shows the link between the massive overfishing by the EU fishing fleets in Senegal (and West Africa) and migration to Europe. The strength of this documentary is particularly in the fact that it shows what is behind the faceless figures of immigrants you read from the news; practically everyone for instance in Thiaroye-sur-Mer, where fishing used to be the main source of income, has a brother, father, uncle, or friend who risked their lives in hope of a future for himself and his extended family. Some of them manage to make it to Europe but many die on this trip, and yet new candidates keep trying despite the risks involved, in lack of better alternatives.

Keep an eye on this excellent documentary and go and see it if the opportunity arises!


Here is a short clip from Barça ou Barzakh in You Tube (in French)

More information on the impact of overfishing


donkey mobile library

Have you ever heard of donkey mobile library? If not, have a look at this inspiring clip from Awassa, Ethiopia, featuring Yohannes Gebregeorgis’ fantastic initiatives that help children in Ethiopia to have access to books also outside school. Gebregeorgis first opened  a children’s library at his own home and has now gone mobile in rural areas. This idea is worth disseminating widely! 

donkeys bearing gifts clip



support training through donated technology

The Ndiagamar School Project in Dakar would like to encourage companies and individuals to donate computers and computer equipment so that voluntary-based schools in Senegal can put them to work for a while longer.

Donating computer equipment to the Ndiagamar School Project is a safe way to discard used equipment when you upgrade your computer. Before taken into use in schools, we will send your computer to a refurbisher, who will ensure that the equipment works well and runs legal copies of software, and that any e-waste is disposed of properly. If you can, include the keyboard, mouse, printer, modem, packaged software, or any other accessories you use with the computer. Schools can almost always put them to good use.

If you donate to a non-profit organization, you are eligible for a tax deduction. Business donors can deduct the un-depreciated value of the computer, and individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer. We can provide a tax receipt upon request.

Please forward this information to companies and individuals that may consider upgrading their computer equipment and are looking for possibilities of donating in the following locations: Brussels, Paris, London, or Dakar. If you would like to donate or find out more about this project, please contact us via info@ndiagamar.org or visit our web site.

Avoid e-waste – reuse!

summer in a dakar suburb

  The Ndiagamar School in Dakar, Senegal is on a summer break right now and the schoolboys and schoolgirls are on a well-earned holiday. Yet the school building is bustling with life as the construction of new lavatories and renovation works are under way. Have a look at our latest photo album on the school’s website and while you are at it, spread the word about our work!

The Ndiagamar School is running entirely on a voluntary basis and help is needed. You can help in many ways: by donating money or schooling materials, by joining our cause in Facebook and inviting all your friends to come along, or by getting involved with some of our ongoing or upcoming projects. You are also warmly welcome to visit  the school in Dakar!

moving windmills

I have just seen a short film called Moving Windmills and wanted to share it with you. It is an extremely inspirational story of a young Malawian William Kamkwmamba, who was forced to drop out of school for lack of money. But he did not discourage: when he saw a picture of a windmill in a textbook he decided to build one to power his family’s home. The film is now distributed online both via The Pangea Day Event, which has a big selection of other interesting films available too, and via William Kamkwamba’s Malawi Windmill Blog.

Moving Windmills at the Pangea Day Event web site
William Kamkwamba’s Malawi Windmill Blog

international year of languages

Yesterday was the International Mother Language Day and the date of the official launch of the International Year of Languages. They both represent occasions for heightening awareness of and encouraging collaboration also on African languages and initiatives in the field. In that spirit, it may be useful during the International Year of Languages to list such projects on UNESCO’s register to facilitate partnerships and promote your activities. This can be done here (you will need a recent version of Adobe Reader to complete the form).

solar energy


In a few hours I’m off to Yoff – actually to that very same spot that you can see in my banner. Just a quick note before I go: I’ve been trying to find information about solar energy and what it takes for a charity to install solar electricity to a small school in Senegal. I have contacted a couple of manufacturers in hope of a quote and some basic answers to what would possible be the most useful and of course less expensive solution for the needs of the school. Strangely enough, none of the manufactures cared to answer my questions so far.  Then I also asked help from an NGO in Bamako, Mali, and their local expert immediately wrote back to me. We talked over skype and he was even kind enough to send me a rough estimate on the expenses involved – all this for free. I am delighted to have talked with him and impressed by his friendliness and support. Now, what does all this say about businesses?