School Profile: École Sinthiou Mbadane 1
About Sinthiou Mbadane
Sinthiou Mbadne is a cluster of villages located off paged roads approximately 7km from the town of M'bour, Senegal. (Find it on Google Maps!).
The region is home to École Sinthiou Mbadane 1, Cybersmart Africa's first pilot school in Africa and the "home base" for This Is Us.
Senegal is the Western-most country in Africa (meaning that its shores are stick the farthest out into the Atlantic Ocean) and has French colonial roots. The official language of the country is French, but Wolof is most commonly spoken. In addition to Wolof, several smaller languages are spoken in specific ethnic groups. In Sinthiou Mbadane, the two most common ethnic groups are Serer and Phull. The majority of Senegalese people are moderate Muslims and many other religions peacefully co-exist in the region.
École Sinthiou Mbadane 1 draws students from the neighboring rural villages within an hour's walk. When the students come to school they do not speak French and are immersed in the language from their first day.
The school was founded in 2000 and currently serves approximately 200 students, ages 7-15. There is a 50/50 mix of boys and girls, with students from four religions. The school community is unanimously committed to secular education and respects the traditions of all community members. Before this school was built, none of the children had access to education. Like many schools in Senegal, École Sinthiou Mbadane 1 lacks electricity and flush toilets--however, a solar panel was recently installed in the school's office.
The students at École Sinthiou Mbadane 1 are highly motivated to learn—it's fair to say they crave education. Many students arrive early to school, clamoring for the day to begin. Some walk more than 45 minutes to reach the school every morning.