Les Foyers de Tambacounda is a beautiful facility in Tambacounda that houses young women from the surrounding villages who come to this regional capital to attend high school. Le Korsa, in close partnership with director Maimouna Ka Sow, oversees operations and programming for the 143 young women who live there.
Because rural Senegalese communities still practice childhood marriage, with girls removed from school and forced to take husbands, the opportunity for advanced education is the most effective means of assuring them a different future. Inaugurated in November, 2007, Les Foyers provide dormitory space, a computer lab, a library, a dining area, recreation spaces, and a kitchen garden where students can learn the fundamentals of growing food. The young women who live there are able to attend either the nearby public lycée in Tambacounda or a local parochial school, while enjoying salubrious and happy living conditions that provide a strong sense of community.
Le Korsa funded much of the initial construction of Les Foyers through two generous grants from our benefactors. In 2009, we helped double the school’s original 50-student capacity. Since then, we have worked closely with Madame Sow to introduce new programs, such as film screenings, job trainings, and workshops with artists-in-residence at Thread.
A growing program is the journalism training initiated in 2018. That summer, 20 girls learned storytelling basics from two Senegalese journalists, then produced a newspaper and a radio program on the subject of early marriage. The project continued in 2019, and we plan to make it an annual event. To download the Foyer’s French-language newspaper, please click here. To listen to the Foyer’s radio program, please click here (please note it is in French).
We have also helped students at the Foyer have begin a collaboration with She for She, a reusable sanitary pad company. The goal is to produce and sell reusable sanitary pads in Tambacounda, ensuring that more young women have access to them, and don’t miss school during menstruation—a common occurrence in the region. The enterprise will also provide a source of income for the Foyer.