Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On March 11th, 2009, 40 students from all over BC will embark on a two humanitarian journey to Senegal, West Africa. The project, called Yaakaar 2009 (Yaakaar meaning hope in Senegalese Wolof language) will represent the final component of a Global Perspective course.

Our goal is to support the bridging of two communities through a long term sustainable exchange of ideas and resources in order to embrace and celebrate our common humanity. Out vision is to create an active partnership by connecting students, teachers and anyone else who would be interested, with our global friends of Africa by negotiating and fulfilling common projects, navigating the fine line of ethical cultural exchanges and partnering with sponsors (for services and resources) who share our vision.

Above all, our goal is to give out students the opportunity “earning” their life-long global citizenship. When our students leave Senegal in March 2009, they will truly know, head and heart, what a humanitarian effort entails - giving of yourself freely to the betterment of other. Everyone of us will benefit immensely from the life lessons that these 40 young people will receive throughout their global experience. They will become Canada’s future humanitarians and community leaders.

We hope to bring $80,000 of aid. Our source of revenue comes from our many hours of fundraising, grants and sponsor donations. Our financial plan is organized in three parts.
1) Administration - covered by School District #93
2) Travel - Students and accompanying adults will travel to Africa on their own expense. Individual fundraising by the students for their travel cost is part of the course.
3) Humanitarian Aid - All the funds raised by the group will be applied to this area. All donations and grants do directly to African. Sustainable development projects in Africa will be developed by the joint consultation in the areas of education, healthcare and family/micro-economics.

Why Africa?
Africa is a continent in an unprecedented human crisis. Not only is its general population being devastated by AIDS, strangled by economic/political burdens, and suppressed by extremes of poverty, but its children are caught in events that place then and their future at an even greater risk. They are quickly losing their basic human rights to family, education, and healthcare. They will too soon be a lost generation, a generation without a safety net, vulnerable to those who prey on the innocent. Our students are core to this project - who better to speak to the children of Africa, who better to empower a parallel generation?

Why Senegal?
We are a French Public School district; our students are all Francophones. We have chosen to partner with a French-speaking country in the westernmost point in Africa called Mbour, Senegal. Mbour is a town located 50 kms south of the capital of Dakar on the Atlantic ocean. This country is a third of the size of the province of BC and has a population of 11 million. As a democratic republic that is more than 90% Muslim, Senegal has been a diplomatic and cultural bridge between the Islamic and black African worlds.

Other Quick Facts:
Life expectancy is 57 years
Literacy Rate is 50% for males and 39% for females
Average age is 19
Population below the poverty line stands at 57%
Yaakaar 2009, our project, supports 3 important areas - education/literacy, healthcare and micro-economy.

To learn more about Yaakaar 2009 or to make a donation, you may:
Call Madeleine Mulaire at 604.469.0509
Visit our website www.ragelemoine.ca/html/afriqueaccueil.htm (French)

We thank you in advance for your time.

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