News

Sinthian’s soccer tournament returns
Sep 21, 2021

Countless events were canceled last year because of Covid restrictions, among them the highly popular Sinthian soccer tournament, which unites thousands of people throughout the region. This year, the government granted special dispensation to hold the tournament. “It is as if people were waiting for it,” said Moussa Sene, Le Korsa’s program director in Tambacounda.

Sixteen teams again came to Sinthian to test their mettle on the soccer field across from Thread over several days of play.

Beyond the physical activity, beyond the power of sport to create community, the tournament is also an occasion to gather people from villages scattered around the rural Tambacounda region and share with them some of the programs Le Korsa offers, from free tree seedlings to helping students obtain birth certificates. In past years, Dr. Magueye Ba has offered malaria prevention and AIDS prevention workshops, and theater troupes have performed their plays for large audiences.

The tournament also helps the school year get underway in an unexpected manner: many of the teams who participate gather in their local schools to have meetings before practice, and so they fix up the buildings in the process. Otherwise, making repairs to schools damaged during the rainy season can delay the start of the academic year. This communal effort, in addition to the thrilling footwork seen day in and day out the field, is what makes the tournament so special.

“The youth is such an asset,” Moussa added. “We are planning to see how, with minimal means, they can contribute in transforming the area economically.”

Dr. Juliette Faye completes a Mandela Washington Fellowship
Sep 06, 2021

Despite seeing patients at the Women’s Center of Dakar around the clock, despite pandemic restrictions, time differences, and delays, this summer Dr. Juliette Faye completed a Mandela Washington Fellowship through the U.S. Department of State’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The program, begun under President Obama, invites up to 700 leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa to expand their leadership skills through six weeks of study with university-based researchers and professors.

Because of the pandemic, Dr. Faye’s program with the University of Minnesota was conducted virtually rather than on the campus of a university, but it was no less impactful for being digital. Dr. Faye continued to develop a plan to ensure that Keur Djiguene Yi, the Women’s Center of Dakar, is sustainable for years to come and can expand beyond the capital. Currently, the clinic offers free pre- and post-natal care, as well as pediatric care, to low-income women and their families in Dakar, most of whom live on the outskirts of the city. Dr. Faye has also been hoping to set up mini-clinics, for two weeks at a time, in rural parts of Senegal where licensed OBGYNs are few and far between.

In Dakar, the clinic’s costs are subsidized by seeing patients who are able to afford the full fees, and while this model would not be as effective in rural areas where women earn less income, through the Mandela Washington Fellowship Dr. Faye explored other ways to efficiently run satellite clinics. We at Le Korsa are prepared to help. In Dakar, the staff of Keur Djiguene Yi also provides education to their patients about family planning, helps them arrange appointments at area hospitals, and in certain cases, aids them in finding employment. Bringing such services to Senegal’s rural zones is essential, and we know that Dr. Faye is the leader to do it.

Congratulations on your fellowship Dr. Faye!

Tambacounda Hospital featured in Metropolis magazine
Aug 18, 2021

As Tambacounda Hospital’s redesigned maternity and pediatric units are being prepared to receive patients, their unique design still has the architectural world talking. Over at Metropolis magazine, Vera Sacchetti takes a look at how Manuel Herz, Magueye Ba, the hospital staff and the local community have created a form of “territorial intervention.”

Rain, Trees, Gardens
Aug 11, 2021

With the rainy season having arrived to the Tambacounda region, the women’s gardens in Sinthian, Dialico and Fass are flourishing. Cissé Kante, who helps oversee the agricultural efforts, said, “Bitter eggplant is well-along, and it’s the beginning of the season for okra and aubergine. The women are weeding and planting out the gardens, and aerating the soil.”

Thanks to your donations, we have been able to help these women extend the size of their gardens—the women in Fass are cultivating another hectare—and set up a new one in Sinthiourou. That one, located between Dialico and Sinthian, will allow the men and women of that village to cultivate vegetables much closer to home, without having to walk the three kilometers to Dialico, where they were previously gardening. By providing a bore-well, and ongoing instruction in agriculture from expert Habib Dieye, Le Korsa is helping this village solidify its access to food and a source of income.

Trees remain an essential part of these gardens. Throughout them, another 40 fruit trees have been planted, including mango, guava, lemon, pomegranate and cashew. They provide crucial shade and other sources of food and income; the fruit can be eaten out of hand as well as made into jams and preserves.

Because some of these gardens are now in their fifth year, the trees we planted back in 2015-2016 are yielding their first fruit—the women have been taking home plenty of mangoes this year, and know there will be more to come.

You make it all possible.

With new wave of infections, personal protective equipment is again paramount
Jul 29, 2021

Last year, when we provided a large batch of personal protective equipment — masks, gloves, sanitizer — to our medical partners in Senegal, we acquired enough supplies to last them for an extended period of time. But we couldn’t foresee just how extended it would be; the coronavirus has its own plans for survival and continues to find new ways to spread.

As Senegal faces a third wave of coronavirus infections—its worst—driven by the Delta variant, our partners in Dakar, Tambacounda, and surrounding rural villages are again asking for the basic supplies that are necessary when treating patients. We are helping them acquire more high-quality N95 and KN95 masks, as well as disposable gloves and sanitizer.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant for coronavirus relief from the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, we have already furnished Dr. Juliette Faye, at the Women’s Center of Dakar, with a fresh batch of supplies. Soon, more will be reaching Dr. Magueye Ba at the Sinthian Medical Clinic, and others will be sent to Tambacounda Hospital.

Senegal, for much of the pandemic, has had a very low infection rate, attributed sometimes to its youthful population and its warm climate, where much of life takes place outdoors. But with only approximately 700,000 fully vaccinated individuals out of a population of 15 million, the virus will continue to circulate and we will continue to provide supplies. If you would like to contribute to coronavirus relief in Senegal, please join us by making a donation.