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Samusocial - Testimonials from our community service volunteers

posted Feb 4, 2011, 7:28 AM by Suzanne WARDINI   [ updated Feb 4, 2011, 7:29 AM by Unknown user ]

Djamila Idir, Community Service Coordinator

Samusocial is a French international NGO which has been in existence in Dakar for many years.  It provides shelter, medical care and education services to groups of Talibes (street children).  ISD has developed a strong relationship between the boys at the shelter and a group of ISD high school students over the past 2 years.  Our students go to the Samusocial center on a regular basis every week and several times a year, we invite the children to come to ISD for fun and games.  Some of our students even volunteer on their own time once they get to know the program and the children.  The focus of our time with the boys is to interact, mostly through games, art projects, music, etc., to give them and our students the experience of recognizing each other as persons. 

Below are testimonials from two of our HS students who share their experience with the children of Samusocial.  

Birassi SOW, 11th grader

The hot blazing Friday sun is here. Students prepare to leave school for another wonderful weekend that once again they will not forget. A group of kids meet up at the school gate to go meet, once agai,n the boys from Samusocial. Some excited faces on the bus and others more stressed are ready to take on another wonderful challenge. Today the main priority is to entertain the boys as much as anyone possibly can.

As soon as we arrive, we shake hands with the boys and the staff. First, we divide the boys in groups and depending on what they want to do, they will go with ISD students. Some are doing math sheets, some drawing and others who are playing the entertaining game of baby foot. We can hear laughter from one side of the building to the next. Stressed faces immediately change to smiles and the energetic ones are slowly losing energy without realizing one bit. This experience has helped many students see the other side of the beautiful city of Dakar, by socializing with these boys and seeing how they live and what their daily activities are.

Samusocial is a wonderful way to see the other side of this beautiful town, helping kids by playing with them.  Even the most simple positive action towards them will make you care so much more by doing a little to help the community you are currently living in.

Timothee MAYERL, 9th grader

Samu Social is an organization that helps street kids have access to medicine, various activities and food. They pick them up at night and bring them to Samusocial; there they try to find the biological family. During this period of time, ISD organizes activities but also donates used materials like pencils, desks and chairs for example. I am a 9th grader and I need to do my community service hours. So I go to Samusocial on Fridays. When we arrived there, we first said hello to all the kids, and we went to a playing room with the kids. We started playing board games, reading, drawing… Last time we also did some addition and subtraction exercises, and we tried to teach them how to do multiplication. We did that for the first hour then the facilitators organized a big game. We had to find each letter of Samusocial hidden in various places in the building. We were divided into two teams: ISD and Samusocial. Then we went outside, in the street and we played football. Sometimes we played a big game against one another and sometimes we played individually. The kids are very nice and they all have different stories to tell. When you go to Samusocial, and you see those kids, you are like “Woo” because they have plenty of energy.“