Our commitment in Senegal

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Jürgen Perteck

Project Coordinator Senegal


In Senegal, we support a school with around 255 students: the “Ecole Franco Arabe Omar Ibn Khatab de Malicounda-Sénégal”. Malicounda is the second largest rural municipality and is located in the west of the country.

Unsere ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiterin Sylvia Ndoye has been traveling there regularly for more than 35 years and has been increasingly involved with the local people since 1999. Together with her husband Serigne Ndoye, who himself comes from Senegal.

School building: help with flood damage repair (2020).

With a family background, the couple, who live in Berlin, can rely on a functioning Building infrastructure in Senegal: Family members and friends can, for example, accept donations in kind that are shipped by container and take care of the onward transport and distribution. In 2020, the commitment once again picked up speed when the contact with our association association was established and opportunities for cooperation resulted. For example, in September 2020, through our help flood damage to the school building repaired.

Background interview with Sylvia

On the part of the school management, there had been repeated efforts to improve the quality of drinking water – a major problem in the country – but this could not be implemented on its own. Thus, through Sylvia and Serigne Ndoyeand our association initiated a joint follow-up project: The delivery and installation of aDrinkingatersystem for the school in Malicounda.

We spoke to Sylvia Ndoye about the background:

“Why does the Senegalese school need a drinking water filtration system?”

“You have to imagine that people just drink the water that comes out of the tap there. Have to drink it. And then get sick correspondingly often.”

“How do you have to imagine the living situation of the people on the ground?”

“The fact that children and certainly also adults suffer from worm infestation is widespread. People are dependent on appropriate medication, but lack their own means to obtain it. I am often asked, when I visit families, to buy the necessary medicines at the pharmacy.”

“What is the specific plan for delivery and installation of the equipment?”

We are currently making contact with the mayor of Malicounda to ensure that the water intake for the drinking water filtration plant will work when it is delivered. We expect it to be operational by the start of the new 2021/22 school year after the rainy season ends in early October.”

“How do you experience working with Menschenfreude e.V.?”

“As an individual, getting involved with the people of Senegal is a wonderful thing, but as part of a large community, a highly motivating feeling sets in that I didn’t know before. That is something special. What I find particularly likeable about the members of the associationis the fact that it is a real matter of the heart for every single volunteer. You are not only a paying member, but you can enter extensively and you are valued. You can pass on that appreciation and it keeps the association’s activities alive.”

“Your wishes for the future?”

“For the future, it would be nice if we could continuously support the school and, for example, provide school supplies, notebooks and fabric for the school uniforms. This is not expensive and even small contributions can make a big difference. The container transport of a moving box with school material costs 50 €, so a lot can be helped for relatively small money.”

“Thank you so much, Sylvia, for the video call and all the insights.”

Installation and inauguration of a drinking water filtration plant (2021)

2021 waren unsere ehrenamtlichen Mitarbeiter Axel Müller, Kathrin Anderseck und Jürgen Perteck vor Ort, um die erste Trinkwasser-Filteranlage to install and put into operation. The children’s joy about the clean water and the visit was captured by Kathrin Anderseck in a travelogue for our blog.

A video was also created, which Oliver Drathen put together for us:

Delivery of drinking bottles and school supplies (2021)

At Christmas time, Jürgen Perteck and Kai Werner were once again on site. Sie hatten den Kindern eigene Trinkwasser-Flaschen mitgebracht und Schulmaterial.

In another school in the interior of the country, a previously canceled Christmas celebration could still be realized through targeted purchases of food and gifts on the part of the two travelers.

Help for self-help project (2021)

Another project was about helping people to help themselves: Kai Werner decided to support a young man in his efforts to become self-employed with a chicken farm so that he could support himself. At regular intervals, we are sent photos of the progress.

Meetings with people (May 2022)

In May 2022, Maximilian and Jürgen Perteck were on site to get a picture of the situation and the projects that had been initiated. Here there have been many pleasant meetings and reunions with the people with whom acquaintance was previously made. School materials and medical supplies were also delivered.

Walk-throughs with Tuifly employees (November 2022)

Starting in the fall, the company Tuifly, employer of some of our volunteers, made it possible to book trips to Dakar to vacation in Senegal.

For the ceremonial start, a randomly selected crew from Tuifly was allowed to spend a few days in Senegal. As part of the program, employees were allowed to visit our partner schools. Here, too, school materials and other relief supplies were delivered. Likewise, the drinking water filter system was inspected.

Project with RIU Hotel Baobab And Visit Orphanage (December 2022)

In December, employees of Menschenfreude e.V. were once again on site. Among them were Jürgen Perteck, Kai Werner, Axel Müller and Winfried Hündgen from the company Hündgen Entsorgung. It is about a project that is being thought about, considered and discussed in the greater Mbour area, not far from the RIU Hotel Baobab as well. Should this envisioned project be able to move forward, local people would subsequently be able to obtain training and jobs through the recycling program.

In addition, drinking water filtration systems were also installed to provide people with fresh water. An orphanage was also visited to explore possibilities for cooperation.

The video, which Oliver Drathen produced for us, was supplemented with new impressions. Thank you very much for this!

Installation of four additional drinking water filter systems (February 2023)

In February 2023 were Jürgen Perteck, Roland Kühn, Kerstin Schley, Manfred Staat, Charlotte, Etta and Winfried Hündgen, Axel Müller and Gregor Schläger on site, on the one hand to discuss the project of the possible waste incineration plant now also with the mayor from Malicounda and other political leaders and to explore possibilities to connect them to the whole area and on the other hand, to another four drinking water filtration plants in the country.

These drinking water filtration systems were installed: in the previously visited orphanage in Nianing and in a hospital, and also at there two different schools in Thionk Essyl, in southern Senegal, south of The Gambia.

In summary, we already have seven drinking water filtration plants in operation in Senegal, serving an average of 7,000 people daily.

Likewise, a new project for young people was launched, in which the young people themselves become active and keep their surroundings clean, collect garbage on the beach and thus make their stalls on the beach more attractive. The collaboration has begun.

In order to be able to continue the commitment of Menschenfreude e.V. , we are very happy about donations – also for the Senegal project. We sincerely say thank you!

Last updated: May 2023