“An education centre for young women and men in Senegal offers them the possibility to learn a profession, such as tailor, hairdresser or cook. With this, we can realize their dream of a better future for them, their children and community. This is my wish for them. I want to help them setting up this centre by using my talents and network. That is my dream”

Evelyne Kleikers

What a sabbatical leave can bring…

Since my many years I had the idea to work as a volunteer in Africa. A a certain moment I took the decision: now or never!

In January 2005 I exchanged my job in a multinational company (DSM) for an opportunity to become a schoolteacher in a kindergarten and primary school in Senegal for three months.

I traveled to Thiès, a small town 80 km east of Dakar and I stayed in a Senegalese hostfamily, la famille Ndiaye. Being part of that family, helped me to have a good insight in the Senegalese family life. They have taken me to their native village and I could see with my own eyes the difficult life of the women.

Touching experiences…

I met a lot of extraordinary people people in the village with difficult lifes, like Diouma. Her daughter had to leave the village without an education to go the big city to find a job as a housekeeper, like many young girls do. A lot of them end up in difficult situations, like Diouma's daughter. Therefore we need to do something to keep these girls in their village and give them the possibility to learn something. 

These stories touched me deeply and I decided, with the help of my hostfamily Ndiaye to see how we can contribute to give these girls and women the possibility of a slightly better life.