Sparing a thought for those less fortunate

by | Jun 22, 2024

The W+ B Common Room served as the venue on 18 June for a presentation about a charity making a sustainable difference to the lives of underprivileged girls and women in a city suburb in Senegal, West Africa.

Virtually every seat in the living room was taken up by members and friends of the Verein to hear the presentation led by mother and daughter team Rosita and Anja. Together with a local coordinator, they founded project Taxawu Jigeen in 2017. This coordinator and a team of professionals run a unique vocational training and further education centre in the nation’s busy capital, Dakar. Five years later they acquired a property in a poor suburb, allowing the centre to cater for some 100 students aged 13-20+. Up until then, the students’ little or non-existent educational backgrounds severely limited their ability to achieve greater independence.

What they do…

Despite their relative poverty, many Senegalese take great pains in their appearance, especially on holidays. With this demand in mind, the project offers courses in tailoring and hairdressing, as well as more down-to-earth modules that focus on the real-life skills of family planning, contraception, dealing with violence and budgeting.

At the end of their three-year study courses and armed with a recognised diploma, the school’s graduates emerge, ready and equipped to follow their own professional careers and take pride in their contribution to the local community.

Over the years and with the support of interested donors, including Basel Stadt which recently donated CHF 30,000, the charity has flourished. The school is also growing, and is currently finishing the construction of a first-floor extension, with the extra rooms opening up new possibilities for additional courses and students. Taxawu Jigeen graduates can now embark on their own future careers with optimism – skilled, independent and ready to take on the challenges facing them in the bustle of Senegalese society.

The presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session, after which presenters and guests carried on more informal discussions over an Apéro riche in the Common Room’s kitchen.

n.b. This presentation was advertised as an information event, and the charity did not make any requests for funding. However, if anybody would like to make a contribution, click here.