News

Promoting Street Art in Tambacounda
Nov 15, 2022

Art is an essential part of Le Korsa’s work, from running the artists’ residency at Thread to supporting art classes at Les Foyers des Tambacounda. A new initiative, led by Tambacounda office director Massamba Camara, is to enliven public spaces across Tambacounda by contracting artists to paint murals on the city’s walls, and to do so with input from the population.

As Massamaba writes, “In a city where the formal education rate is low and we have many local languages, promoting visual art can be a means of communicating and also making the city more attractive. The aim of the paintings is to highlight some important challenges that we face.”

Of the painting above, Massamba says, “This first one is about the national park, Niokolo koba. It shows the importance of protecting rare animals. Part of protecting rare animals and wildlife in general is to protect the trees and the flora. That’s what explains the kind of dialogue between this painting and the green space. It’s like the animal is hidden behind the two planted trees.”

We hope to have artists paint two more sites this fall; what follows below is an exhibition, with Massamba’s explanations, of some of the work achieved so far. The paintings were made by Aliou Niang, an English teacher and artist. 

“The three paintings above are in the same site as the Niokolo koba painting in the green space next to the national road. The first is about the Senegambian megaliths, which are an important part of our historical and cultural heritage but are unknown largely; the second celebrates organic bananas, a product that can improve the economy of the region of Tambacounda; and the third painting represents the Senegalese soccer player Sadio Mane and the Africa Cup of Nations, which Senegal won for the first time this year”

“These two paintings are at the school in front of the Foyers de Tambacounda. They are done at the request of the parents’ association. To me, it constitutes a positive feedback from the population. The parents’ association asked for paintings that could sensitize against violence, and promote education and cleanliness in the JEAN XIII primary school. Furthermore, they paid for half of the cost.”

These paintings, combined with the landscaping and tree-planting Le Korsa has undertaken in the city this year, represent significant contributions to Tambacounda’s public spaces. It is just the beginning.  The two sites that Massamaba and his team plan to paint this fall are shown below, and we hope you will consider making a donation to help us purchase paint, primer and brushes.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for looking — we couldn’t do it without you.


Full Court Press
Sep 28, 2022

Three years ago, Le Korsa built a basketball and tennis court next to Thread and the soccer field in Sinthian, so that more people in the village — especially young girls — had access to sports. While soccer has long been popular in the village, and Le Korsa has hosted an annual soccer tournament at Thread since 2015 for regional teams, there were no other sports facilities in the village until we built this court.

To maximize its use, each year since 2019 we have invited coach Maissa Fall from the Tambacounda Basketball Association, and tennis pro Lamine Keita from Dakar, to run a free sports camp for hundreds of boys and girls. We donate the equipment—racquets, balls, shoes—and provide food. The coaches teach the children skills and drills,  then help them compete in scrimmages at the end of each session, which are always full of laughter and teamwork.

Because of the village’s isolation, this camp is one of the few opportunities to formally compete, or to just shoot hoops, without traveling to Tambacounda, 60km away, where there are basketball courts, but no tennis facilities. The camp has been a huge success: hundreds of children have been coming from Sinthian and other local villages to pick up a new sport or refine their already solid groundstrokes and jump-shots, and just have fun in late summer.

Ryan returned this past August to teach lacrosse alongside his son, Daegan, who plays at the college level. The pair raised money to bring a host of equipment to Sinthian, which they then donated, and they are already coming back in November to run another lacrosse camp. Lacrosse is a growing sport in Africa, and we  could have never foreseen that a basketball and tennis court could help it grow in Sinthian, but we’re thrilled it’s happening.

If you would like to help all of these sports programs grow, we hope you will join us by making a donation. Athletic shoes are often the greatest need for children in Sinthian, and even a small donation can help us buy more shoes. Thank you.

Better Care for Expectant Mothers
Aug 29, 2022

Improving life for mothers and children in Senegal—where the maternal mortality rate is needlessly high—has been one of Le Korsa’s primary goals.

In 2015, with OBGYN Dr. Juliette Faye, we opened Keur Djiguene Yi, the Women’s Center of Dakar, to offer exceptional maternal and pediatric healthcare at no cost to women and children who could not afford it otherwise. The center started small, with just a few hundred patients per year and Dr. Faye as the sole OBGYN; seven years on, Dr. Faye has two other OBGYNS and a pediatrician working with her.  They see thousands of patients annually and are vastly improving healthcare for women and children.

Earlier this summer, Dr. Faye wrote to us about a young OBGYN, Dr. Mamour Gueye at the Philippe Maguilen Senghor clinic, who was in urgent need of new equipment. Thanks to your donations, we were able to rapidly source and deliver two cardiotocographs to Dr. Gueye,  who wasted no time putting them to use. “The cardiotocographs were delivered and the very first exams were successfully performed!” he wrote last week.

Finding and delivering these machines at a moment’s notice wouldn’t be possible without you. As Dr. Faye said, “Once again Le Korsa has brought its touch to improving life for patients and pregnant mothers. I am proud to be part of this family.”

We are proud that you are part of it too. Thanks for all you do to improve life in Senegal.

Bët-bi is featured in Blooloop.
Aug 02, 2022

The Bët-bi Museum and Center for Culture and Community, which is being developed by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Le Korsa, is featured this week in Blooloop.

Nicholas Fox Weber, the director of the Albers Foundation and founder and president of Le Korsa, explains how Bët-bi will not only provide a new space to view art from all over the world in a region where such spaces are lacking, but be a space defined by its local community.

Mariam Issoufou Kamara, the architect who is developing the building’s design, has already been to a proposed site and begun meeting with community members.

Read more at Blooloop about how Bët-bi’s goal “is to put the community at the heart of the museum, and the museum at the heart of the community.”

Artists are back at Thread
Jul 13, 2022

Over the past two years we have not been able to host residencies at Thread, but we are thrilled to be welcoming artists back to Sinthian.

London-based Sara Kelly was the first artist-in-residence at Thread since the pandemic began in March 2020, and it was beautiful to watch the building be animated by her loom.

She fashioned this loom from bamboo, incorporating it into the architecture of the building. And she wove on it—sometimes with the help of children from the village—using cotton that was hand-spun in Sinthian.

This year’s slate of Thread artists hail from around the world, and work in a variety of mediums from fashion design to performance to sculpture, so please watch this space for updates. As always, if you would like to support artists at Thread, you can make a tax-deductible donation.